First Sunday in Lent – B

No matter how intelligent or strong a person is, there is always a weak spot. We are all vulnerable. Many of us have heard the expression ‘Achille’s heel’, which symbolises your weak – vulnerable – point. What is the origen of this phrase? Achilles or Achilleus was a hero of the Trojan war, who was known as being the greatest of all the Greek warriors. A central character in Homer’s Illiad.  Achilles’ most notable feat during the Trojan War was the slaying of the Trojan prince Hector outside the gates of Troy. Legends state that Achilles was invulnerable in all of his body except for one heel. According to a myth, when his mother Thetis dipped him, when he was born, in the river Styx to make him immortal, she held him by one of his heels leaving it untouched by the waters and thus, his only vulnerable body part. He was eventually killed when a Trojan warrior shot him in the heel with an arrow. Alluding to these legends, the term ‘Achilles heel’ has come to mean a point of weakness which can lead to one’s downfall, especially in someone or something with an otherwise strong constitution. This myth reminds us that we all have a weak spot, and it is important that we recognise this and protect ourselves from failure.  We are beginning our Lenten journey and in our gospel today, we find Jesus in the desert praying and fasting for forty days. Jesus wanted to show us this for two reasons; first that we are all vulnerable, our life will always be a battle; the great author Oscar Wilde once said: ‘I can resist everything except temptation’. The second reason why Jesus went into the desert,  was to assure us that with his help, we cannot be beaten. What is the message for us, as we read this gospel? First of all let us recognise what is our Achilles heel?: too much time on our phones or social media, speaking illl of others, eating too much; drinking too much;  being very negative, neglecting my spiritual life, getting side-tracked by so many material and insignificant things, that we forget our goal; etc.  If we discover and protect our weak spot, our ‘Achilles heel’,  it will no longer be a weakness,  but is will be an arena where we can turn our worst defeats into great victories.