At the beginning of Lent, we are reminded that we are not alone when we are tempted even though we might feel alone and in a desert. We also learn that temptation does not automatically mean that we have strayed far from God because even Jesus is tempted. Finally, with this biblical scene placed shortly after his baptism in the Jordan, we know that we can be tempted at any time, even right after a deep religious experience. Jesus enters fully into our humanity and knows well the strength of the temptations that we face.
Among our own many temptations in life we find similarities with those specific temptations that Jesus faced. Sometimes our hunger to fulfill all our physical desires blinds us to our real needs and those of others. At other times it seems that doing what is right is difficult, unpopular and isn’t giving the results we had hoped for and so why be good? The temptation to not be true to ourselves, to not fulfill our vocation in life, to have a great public image at any cost, is also very real.
Lent begins by inviting us to keep our eyes focused on the Lord who will not lead us into temptation, but rather, deliver us from evil. He is with us in our weaknesses and with us when we foolishly think we are strong. Lent is a time of hope and consolation that prepares us to let go of some things that we can respond to the immense embrace of God celebrated in the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection this Holy Week and each day.
Fr. Joseph Jablonski, MSC