Reflections - February 14, 2016

“…..showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.  The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and their glory……All this will be yours, if you worship me.”  Jesus said to him reply, “It is written:  You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.”
 
This first Sunday of Lent begins with the temptations of Jesus in the desert for forty days.  In the life of Jesus, the “liar”, the enemy of God tries to separate him from the absolute in his life, his father, God.  That is why he uses the temptations with which he attacks human beings:  power, vainglory, and pride.
 
There are some things to note in these temptations – evil always insinuates.  We sometimes think that evil tries to have an open war with us – but it is not so.  He normally does not try to win, but to convince.  “If you are the Son of God command this stone to become bread….”.  “Today, perhaps, many think that it is not a bad idea to provide food for the poor, but bread without God cannot make man happy”.  Every time I hear the temptations of evil I remember what my grandmother would say:  “Evil and atheist are very similar in that they say small truths to tell big lies”.  The darkness sometimes dresses as “angel of light” and offers us a paradise to dazzle us:  - “I shall give you all this power and their glory if you worship me”.
 
Jesus did not answer directly to the enemy of God, but used Scriptures to give an answer.  “It is written, one does not live by bread alone”.  The true bread from heaven is more than a meal.  The dignity of being the Son of God, and the power of the Gospel is more than any political or economic power:  “You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve”.  Lk. 4:8.
 
What Jesus offers us is obedience to God’s plan and as Paul said to the Romans:  “For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.”  Rom. 10:10.
 
I invite you this week to reflect on what temptations you feel affect your ethical values and how that affects the commitment we all made with the Lord in our Baptism.
 
Perhaps Lent would be a good opportunity to fast one day for those who are hungry in different countries and those not so far from our own homeland.  When you buy your food please remember the poor of this parish.