Somebody said. “When you flee from temptation, be sure you don’t leave your home address.”
Today’s gospel is about the temptation of Jesus in the desert by the devil. But let us examine these temptations in detail. Is there anything wrong with eating and drinking after undergoing a rigorous forty-day fasting? Although it may be a waste of time, what is wrong in jumping off a cliff if one knows it won’t hurt or harm him anyway? Finally, is there anything wrong with acquiring wealth and power, especially if one intends to use it for good purposes? So what is so bad about the devil’s temptation and why did Christ reject them so flatly? In order to satisfy what could otherwise be a legitimate human need, the devil was actually enticing Christ to make use of His divine power. The devil was trying to deflect Christ from His mission and redemption.
Temptation can only come from the devil. His intention is tempting us to make us stumble. God will never tempt us, He only tests us. The devil wants to make us bad. When God tests us, it is intended to make us better persons. When the devil tempts, he wants us to be away from the Lord. When God tests us, He actually invites us to cling to Him during the period of trial.
Temptation can be a responsibility and a burden. God’s test is actually a blessing and not to make our life more difficult but to make us better persons. The Lord tests us in order that we come out as better persons.
It is consoling to know that even Jesus Christ was not spared from temptation. Temptation ordinarily comes from three sources, from the world, flesh, and the devil. In the case of Jesus, He was tempted by the devil. Needless to say, He did not succumb at all. In the gospel, Jesus was tempted three times. First, He was tempted to turn stones into loaves of bread. In this case He had to use his power for his convenience. This temptation is the temptation to power but He refused to do it. The second is the temptation to prestige and He again refused to follow it. The third temptation was the temptation to wealth as the devil promised to give everything.
But how did The Lord overcome the temptation? He did not argue. He did not use reasoning to defend himself but He used SCRIPTURES. For us to overcome temptation, let us not use psychology or logic or philosophy or theology although these may help us, but rather let us use His words and prayer. We must pray when we are tempted and pray when not tempted.
Lastly, let us reflect on this world; “The trouble with some people is that they’d rather pray for forgiveness than for temptation.” Let us reject these temptations with decisiveness and determination. HAPPY SUNDAY!