Many of us would agree that life is an uphill battle. When we hear about the difficulties and problems that others go through, we feel ashamed when we consider our own minor difficulties. In today’s gospel we will hear that Jesus overcame the temptation. No position of privilege can insulate us from temptation. Temptation is challenge and can help us grow. We fall, get up again, fall; we don’t fulfill our expectations, but we continue to journey on.
- In the gospel today it is interesting to see the strategy the devil uses. He is a good PR person; he knows how to sell the product. He presents the temptation in an attractive way. He chooses the right moment. The same can happen with us. We may have made some proposals in lent to go to mass more often, to cut down on our drinking, to cut back on sweet things; etc, maybe we come at the end of the day and the devil will say don’t worry about mass say a little prayer and rest. We should never deceive ourselves nor deform our conscience. There is nothing wrong with our failings, with our faults, but we should never justify our apathy, laziness and lack of interest. Mat Talbot had a drink problem and to help himself overcome this he would go the church during pub hours and wait there till the pubs were closed.
- When we think of lent, we think of giving up sweets, smoking, drinking or social media. It is easy to see lent as doing something hard. The motive we have for giving up sweets maybe to lose weight, to quit smoking because it is expensive and to stop drinking because it is bad for our health. The essence of lent is to give things up so as to be closer to God. We control things that make us selfish and that preoccupy us so much that we forget about God. Lent is a time of conversion, to make God and Jesus the most important realities of my life.
We do not live on bread alone says Jesus. We have a deeper hunger, of the spirit. We are here to satisfy that hunger with the Word of God and with the bread of eternal life.