The Temptation of Jesus

03-06-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Tony Okolo

Today’s Gospel presents us with the temptation of Jesus at the end of His forty days fasting in the desert. The gospel states that it was the Spirit that led Jesus into the desert. As we begin our own Lenten season which started on Ash Wednesday this past week, we are called to allow the Spirit of God to lead us during this grace period of Lent. Lent is a special season when we go into the desert of our lives to stay more closely with Jesus. Lent is a gracious moment in our lives as Christians when we seek the face of God more closely. It is a time God pours out His blessings in the most amazing way because we are journeying with Him in the desert. It is a time of deeper reconciliation with God and with our family members and those we have issues with. It is a time of prayer; when we make our time to be with God more in prayer. It is a time of fasting when we abstain from over-eating, drinking, spending too much time on the television and getting distracted from social media. It is a time to give alms and be generous with our gifts.

Lent is a time we restrain ourselves from the excessive use of electronic gadgets and social media. It is a time when parents can turn off the television for some time and have meaningful discussions with their kids. It is a time to stop going into unnecessary web sites that would not encourage our spiritual life. Jesus’ temptation teaches us that everyone can be tempted because temptation is a test of our fitness for a purpose.The first thing the devil tries to do is to make Jesus doubt His identity as the Son of God. We are to be on our guard when people try to make us doubt our conviction or what we believe in. We are to be very careful when people make us question our religious convictions and our cherished values. This is how the devil tries to take us away from our base.

Luke gives us the account of the temptation of Jesus in a dialogue form which is completely absent in Mark’s own account. The dialogue between Jesus and the devil and each of the devil’s temptation is supported with some scriptural quotations and Jesus in turn supports His own with scriptural passages. One thing the dialogue between Jesus and the devil teaches us is that it is not just enough to know the scripture and ability to quote them. The most important thing is to know how to live it and apply it to our lives. Jesus used the knowledge of the scripture to defeat the devil so also, we are to use the knowledge of the scripture to overcome temptation. Our own temptations come in different ways depending on our own state and status in life. We pray for the grace and courage to always overcome the temptations that come to us. As Jesus faced temptation so would each one of us face our own temptation in our life? As Jesus was able to overcome His temptations so also, we are expected to overcome our own temptations.

As we begin this year’s Lenten season, we pray for God’s guidance and direction to be able to do it with love, patience and wisdom.

Fr. Tony Okolo