First Sunday of Lent, Year C
1. The Human Situation
Whenever we talk about temptation, what usually comes to mind are the following situations:
- a married man who encounters a very attractive young woman who wants to go to bed with him
- a young ambitious woman in the corporate world, whose married boss showers her with gifts and offers to promote her if she responds favorably to his advances.
We often associate temptation with sexual matters.
But is this the only kind of temptation that human beings face?
2. The Word of God
In our Gospel today, we hear about Jesus spending forty days in the desert to prepare for his ministry. This is a time for clarifying his values and means for achieving is mission. During this period he undergoes three temptation. What are these temptations?
The first temptation : instant gratification of his own needs and desires (turn stone into bread).
The second temptation: accumulation of wealth and power
The third temptation: to gain popularity by doing spectacular feats.
Jesus rejected these temptations. He could not allow his heart and mind to be dominated by the drive for instant self-gratification, for wealth and power, for prestige or popularity. These could not be the underlying values and motivations to fulfil his mission.
3. The Challenge
We human beings face the same temptations that Jesus faced.
It is the temptation to spend our life satisying our lower needs – for sensual pleasure. The tempation to spend our entire life accumulating weath and power. The temptation to impress others, to be popular.
These are the temptations that politicians also face.
The season of lent is a time for each one of us to go into the desert of our heart. We need to spend this time in prayer and reflection – to go over our life and ask ourselves which of these temptations we face and how far have we succumbed to these temptations. It is the time to clarify the values and motivations that dominate our life. It is a time for personal renewal and conversion.