Today is privately known to me as “Tibidabo Sunday”. What is that, you ask? Well, it has multiple meanings.
Those of you reading the Lectionary in Latin this week will know clearly what I mean. The Gospel for today includes the phrase: “et dixit illi haec tibi omnia dabo si cadens adoraveris me.” - “And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9). This is, of course, from the conversation of the devil to Jesus being tempted in the wilderness after 40 days of fasting. It is also seen in Luke: “et ait ei tibi dabo potestatem hanc universam et gloriam illorum quia mihi tradita sunt et cui volo do illa” - “All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it” (Luke 4:6).
These two words are also found inscribed on the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, but here they are taken from the Gospel of Matthew when Our Lord gave the keys of the kingdom to St. Peter. Isn’t that interesting that Christ took the words of Satan and turned them into an eternal promise to His Church?
This whole thing has extra meaning for me personally, as I once made a pilgrimage to the place known as Tibidabo in Barcelona. I was in the middle of a tumultuous affair with my fiancée and struggled with great temptation at her instigation. We toured the Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor and then it was suggested we try out the amusement park there. In order to visit the park, plastic wrist bracelets were issued to paying customers. My fiancée and her family decided it would be awesome to take turns at it, slipping off one set of bracelets and passing them to other people who hadn’t paid. I resisted this strenuously. My memory of that time is so confused that I can’t remember if I eventually gave in to this particular temptation or not, but it certainly stuck in my mind as more than a coincidence considering the name and auspicious location of this place.