Reflection - 1st Sunday of Lent 2010
Today we hear the familiar story of Jesus’ temptations. Though physically weakened by his desert fast, his nourished spirit was able to resist evil. In our busy lives, we need to find such desert time – time to allow our own spirits to discern good and healthy choices. The temptations that Jesus faced are common to humankind – the pursuit of physical comforts, the drive for power, the thirst for fame.
Today, Jesus reminds us that “no one can live on bread alone” – that materialism cannot satisfy our hungry souls. At the end of the day, it won’t be the “bread” that we’ve accumulated that will give us comfort, but rather the relationships that we’ve built.
The second temptation of Jesus was to assume leadership by power rather than by love. We’ve heard much about the abuse of power in our church and society – and now, as we listen in sorrow to the devastating news from Haiti, it is clear that the restoration of that once beautiful country will need to be founded on love and compassion, not unbridled power.
Jesus was then tempted to challenge faith and do something spectacular by throwing himself off the temple roof – and surviving. Certainly, it might have attracted people to his mission – but if Jesus wanted us to imitate his way of living, the easy route wouldn’t do. He had to do the hard work of living and dying to teach us that He was the way.
In our own lives we need to constantly open our hearts and minds to new awarenesses and not fall back on childhood stances – on easy answers that so often hold the kernels of intolerance and injustice. When, like Jesus, we overcome our temptations, we know that evil can be resisted and our spirits lifted up as on eagle’s wings.
Where do I find some desert time, in the midst of my daily routine, to make wise choices and confront the many layers of temptation?
— Patty and Frank Fowler, PBVM Associates