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Letting the Trojan Horse In - Reflections on the First Sunday of Lent

The Greek mythology about the Trojan Horse, the ingenuous strategy of the Greeks to take back Helen of Troy, "the face that launched a thousand ships," can be brought to mind in reflecting on the readings at Mass this First Sunday of Lent.

The mythical story says that after ten years of unsuccessful attempts to breach the impregnable walls of the city of Troy, the Greeks thought of the plan to build a huge horse which had inside it several of its brave warriors. The Trojans naively brought in the huge horse left by the Greeks outside its walls. While the the Trojans were asleep, the Greek warriors went out in the night, opened the gates to its vast army and vanquished the city, killing many of its warriors and inhabitants. It was a plan characterized by cunning and deceit. And the unsuspecting Trojans fell for it.

The serpent in the Garden of Eden, wily and cunning, succeeded in tempting Adam and Eve, who let the evil one enter into their lives. This caused their downfall and the condemnation of the human race.

The Gospel this First Sunday of Lent gives us a detailed account of the devil tempting the Lord in the desert. But Jesus warded him off and did not acquiesce to the lures presented by Satan, His enemy.

Salvation history is the story of one man (Adam) who committed a transgression because of which their descendants were made sinners, but through the obedience of one (Jesus), many are made righteous.

Both Adam and the Lord Jesus experienced temptation from Satan. But Adam gave in and Jesus did not. Adam did not even try to do battle with the tempter, while the Lord did not allow Satan to overcome Him. Thus the stories had entirely different results.

The warfare of mankind with the tempter continues. It is a spiritual warfare that we as descendants of Adam and redeemed by Christ are engaged in whether we like it or not. If we do not fight, or get disheartened in the fight, we lose. But If we do engage the enemy, we have Jesus Himself Who gives us the grace and the strength and the armor to come out victorious. He showed us the way.

We should not let the Trojan Horse of evil enter our lives. We should resist evil with all our strength and keep the Trojan Horse stay outside our gates.#

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