Sunday, February 14, 2016

Reflection: Luke 4:1-13

First Sunday of Lent – Luke 4:1-13

In today’s Gospel, Luke writes: “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, went into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.” During his encounter with the devil, the devil tempted Jesus three times.  Each temptation tested Jesus.  However, with each temptation, Jesus had a response to the devil.  Jesus had the inner strength and wisdom to refuse the earthly temptations that the devil placed before him.  Jesus was neither interested in power nor wealth, and he refused to prove who he was to anyone, even the devil.  Finally, Jesus bluntly told the devil: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test!” Finally, the devil departed.

Today we also encounter these same earthly temptations: having extraordinary abilities, influence, power, and wealth.   Do we have the inner strength to refuse these temptations?  The world typically applauds those individuals who have power, wealth or extraordinary abilities.  Are we content to be satisfied with a normal life, not to be extraordinary? 

Jesus wants us to be holy, wise, and discerning individuals.  He knew that the temptations of the world are powerful. Jesus also realizes that those same temptations do not necessarily bring happiness and peace.  Power is extremely seductive.  If we are not discerning, power may tempt us to take a road that might lead to our destruction. 

Today, be mindful of the concept of power and its ability to seduce you.  Ask Jesus to help you stay alert to these temptations.  These temptations may seem insignificant.  However, if we give into small temptations, we are more likely to give into more dangerous temptations. 

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