1st Sunday of Lent
One of the greatest temptations human beings face is leaving the truth of who they are, where they came from and who created them in pursuit of more personal satisfactions. When we consider all that desires our attention in a given day, there are many lures that attract us to illusions about ourselves. We can easily find ourselves distracted or tired, preoccupied with preserving our status in life, social relationships, current trends, and corporate demands, and intrigued by pursuing what we perceive to be the “path of least resistance.” The daily concerns of life can quickly take our eyes off of our truth, making the empty promises of worldly accomplishments and ideologies seem so attractive. What is at risk in giving into this temptation?
We cease giving thanks to and worshipping our Creator as we pursue our own self-sufficiency, power, and prestige. We replace the true God with a “pet” one. While many do not totally dismiss the idea of God and pretend to remain at least remotely connected, they do not invest themselves heart, mind, and soul in the relationship either. That is why we are so easily swayed. If something attractive comes along, we lunge for it. After all, having a position above and over everyone else is a good thing, isn’t it? In more honest moments, many have to admit that they believe this to be true. The Evil One is very convincing. But he can only gain control if we allow him to.”
About temptation, St. Basil remarks, “As the pilot of a vessel is tried in the storm, as the wrestler is tried in the ring, the soldier in the battle and the hero in adversity, so is the Christian tried in temptation.” And here is found the reason for Lent. It is a wonderful opportunity to get a handle on the attractive lures of illusion that easily captivate us and bring us off track. It is also a time for some honest reflection rooted in prayer, fasting, and selfless giving that can bring us to temptation’s remedy: love. Love of his Father gave Jesus resistance. It can do the same for us. ©LPi