Three Tests and Three Tents
By: Fr. Richard Voigt (Resistance)
Have you ever wondered about the three tests that the devil presented to our divine Lord?
Essentially they were three short cuts from the Cross. First shortcut: Be a social do-gooder and give the people whatever their instincts demand (e.g. bread, lust, power). The result is a massive number of souls. Second shortcut: Be an entertainer, a Hollywood star. The people will flock to see you glide through the air supported by the angels. People love marvels and they will flock to you. Third shortcut: Be a dictator, a president, a tyrant and the people will obey you. You can have this world by simply falling down and adoring me. The devil wants no bloodshed only equal worship with God.
Now how do these three temptations lead us to the three tents that St. Peter wished to construct on Mount Tabor. Peter witnessed the revelation of Moses and Elias speaking with our Lord concerning His decision to embrace the cross of salvation. Despite the Lord's prediction concerning His Passion and death, Peter and the other apostles could not understand how the Son of God
Who had worked such miracles in their presence--could die? Can God die? Hardly, but the Son of Man could lay down His life in the body supplied by our Blessed Mother. So what do those three tents signify?
With the beauty and brightness of the Lord's transfiguration, Peter had only one desire: to stay in heaven. Let us build three tents. In other words, forget about the Cross that you spoke of we can just stay on this mount of glory and enjoy an earthly paradise with You. In essence he is doing the work of the devil who wished to distract our Lord from the most important act of His human existence. Both Peter and the devil were offering Jesus a path away from Jerusalem. The temptations and the tents bespeak a mindset prevalent today amongst all of us. We fear death. We fear suffering. We cower before the Cross of Suffering. The Greeks call this sickness: Staurophobia, a fear of the Cross.
Our Lord looked with love at Peter and all of us. If I do not suffer the sacrifice of the Cross, you can have no part of me. If I do not embrace this Cross, there will be no salvation for any soul. If I choose my comfort in heaven to the Cross offered here, then all suffering will be worthless. I will not be able to console the mother giving birth in pain, nor the dutiful husband laboring day in and day out to feed his family. I will be unable to conquer the evil that threatens every man, woman and child and it wishes to blanket them with hell forever.
The Cross is the path to forgiveness. The Cross is the payment for every sinful act possible to a fallen yet precious mankind. Without the shedding of my precious Blood there can be no salvation for souls. It is the suffering and death that proves the depths of divine love for the children born of man. It is not a tent that saves but rather a Cross redeems and unites. This divine love will never be understood by the finite mind of man but it can be treasured by the hearts that were created in My image and likeness. They will know my Love and when I am lifted up I will draw all to myself.
Reject the temptations and the tents and hold tightly to the Cross of Christ.
In this second week of Lent, fast one day on bread and water to save a sinful soul dying without the help of the priest. God bless you all.
In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Fr. Richard Voigt