Mt. 4: 1 – 11 ( http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/030120.cfm )
Lent is a time of preparation. As such it presents an opportunity to focus once again on our priorities in life.
Our day-to-day living presents us with so many options. Some of those, even though good in themselves, might also be considered temptations. Is that what we have in today’s Gospel as Jesus prepares for his ministry? Like every other human being Jesus has choices. Are his temptations and ours connected?
|Jesus’ Temptations in Matthew 4:1-12
|Is he being tempted to give in to…?
|“If you are the Son of God command these stones to become loaves of bread…”
|A hunger for wealth, security and popularity.
|“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written: He will command his angles concerning you…”
|The opportunity to use or abuse privilege and status.
|“I will give you everything if you just fall at my feet and worship me.”
|The desire to be number one and to exercise power without accountability.
The setting for the temptation of Jesus is the desert, so long associated with the testing of the people of Israel as they journeyed towards the promised land. They wanted answers, security, wealth and a detailed road map. Instead, they were given reminders of presence and were invited to trust Yahweh who had freed them from the oppressor.
Lent is a journey into Easter faith and an invitation to set aside everything that prevents us from recognising the presence with us of the crucified and risen Christ who calls us to welcome the reign of God. We are not being offered wealth, health, security or certainty. Rather, the call this Lent is to become like Jesus and to root ourselves in the compassion of God.