The Voice of My Faith

Resist Temptation

Every year at the beginning of Lent, we hear the story of The Temptation of Jesus (Mt. 4:1-11). It is worthwhile to consider these three basic temptations. The devil starts with a deliberate provocation: "If you are the Son of God..." This is a blatant attack on the self-understanding of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. This provocation aims to remind Jesus of his glory and to distract him from his relationship to Godfather in heaven. "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread!" People who prioritize material wealth and security over the well-being of others give in to this temptation.

“All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me,” It sounds so seductive. You will have a career. You will be respected and honored in front of others. You are an acclaimed man, you are an illustrious woman. You will achieve everything you set out to do – without regard to anyone else. I will give you all of this if you turn away from God the Creator and worship me, the God of blind greed, exploitation, the God of boundless consumption.

Temptation - Human Tendencies

In short: These temptations are about human, very human tendencies such as pride, greed, and hubris: excessive self-confidence, a kind of arrogance.

The good news is - we are all challenged by this in some form or another.

Dear Sisters and Brothers

I would like to compare these basic temptations with verses from Genesis our First Reading (Gn 2:7-9;3:1-7). “The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath (bräth) of life, and so man became a living being.” God gives life and breathes his breath into his creature.

In conclusion, I would like to say that man’s fundamental destiny is life, love, and joy. It is peace, justice, and the preservation of God’s creation. Man is called to freedom as a child of the living God. Therefore, he bears a significant shared responsibility for creation. The responsibility for the preservation of the blue miracle is entrusted to all of us because our actions have consequences. The ramifications of our actions are already becoming visible. Periods of hot days that bring about regional droughts and famine. Not to mention global warming, which will not only pose challenges for others parts of the world, but here for us in Switzerland which is nicknamed as the water castle of Europe.

Lenten Campaign

The Swiss Lenten Campaign "Fastenaktion" of the Roman Catholic Church and the Relief Organization of the Protestant Church, Heks, are teaming up again this Lent. They are committed to the topic: Climate justice - NOW! And what kind of world do we want to be responsible for?

The question is not about how many Earths we have available to us. Until now, we have only this One Earth. And we are guests on this Earth, a part of it – formed out of clay – supplied with spirit and divine breath. And God entrusts us with shared responsibility with love, devotion, joy, and imagination.

Dear Friends

In everything that we do, we have Jesus as our role model. He allows himself to be provoked, but he does not waver from his mission for a morsel of bread. How Jesus deals with possessions and consumption is secondary to the main commandment of love. I am convinced that a just and sustainable life is based on a simple basic rule, which has great importance in many religions and cultures. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: "Do to others what ever you would have them - do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets." (Mt 7:12) With God's help, we can do a lot and even more. And more of nothing. Less consumption.

The Blue Miracle

I would like to end my sermon by reading some thoughts by Jacqueline Keune on the Lenten Vale.

Your blue miracle
Given into our hands
The hands of the South
The hands of the North
Your blue miracle
To hear it, to cherish it To live from it
A little bird builds its nest
The song of kindness
Silenced Breathing
Sold to the highest bidder
The inheritance
Your blue
Your bleeding
Your weeping