Lent, 1st Sunday. Jesus shares with us his temptation by Satan. He had just been baptized by John and heard a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Now he goes out into the desert for 40 days and Satan tries to get him to doubt who He truly is. How often has Satan tricked you into doubting you are really a child of God? Satan tempts Jesus three different ways:
- Doubt that God will provide for you.
- Doubt that God will protect you.
- Trade what you have (God) for something that looks better.
The Israelites were tempted for 40 years in the desert with these same three temptations. Adam and Eve were also tempted these same three ways. The Israelites gave in to temptation, so did Adam and Eve, and so do we. If you’ve ever made an honest effort to overcome a sin in your life, you have probably ended up saying, “I don’t seem to be strong enough to overcome this.”
But Jesus didn’t fall. How was Jesus able to overcome temptation when none of us could? Jesus knows he isn’t strong enough, so He leans on the power of God. You are not strong enough, and you will never be strong enough. But God is strong enough, so lean on Him. Church teaching is helpful here. When the Church tells us something is bad for us, it saves us the trouble of finding out the hard way that the Church is right.
I have experienced the power of God when I have invited Him into the struggles of my life. I have been able to overcome the anger of a frustrating situation by saying, “Jesus, Jesus.” Pray the Rosary or ask Jesus and Mary to hold your hands. Have you fallen into sin? Then invite Jesus into the failure. Are you on the brink? Hold on to Christ. Are you facing temptations this Lent? Then lean on God and you’ll never fall.
(9 Mar 2014)