If you are the Son of God
Have you decided what you are going to do for Lent this year? How are those things going so far? Have you experienced temptation in those areas yet?
We all experience temptation, but perhaps when we choose to commit to do or not do certain things for Lent, we experience temptation with a bit more frequency. Knowing that Jesus is like us in all things but sin, can kind of give us the impression that He didn’t *really* experience temptation the way we do, since He had no baggage like we do. But the Gospel tells us quite clearly, Jesus experienced real temptation.
Like our going out of our ordinary routine to do or not do certain things just for Lent, Jesus went out of His ordinary routine into the desert, fasting for 40 days, at the mercy of the elements, in preparation for His mission. And it was there that Jesus experienced our temptations, our real desires to reach out to real goods.
The three temptations presented to Jesus by the devil offer to fulfil physical needs, establish security, and achieve goals. All the temptations we experience fit somewhere into one these categories. Yet each one in its own way is a temptation to invert our relationship with God from one of trust and love, into one of use and power – “If you are the Son of God…” The vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience are fundamentally a choice to go out of our ordinary routine – in the footsteps of Jesus – and trust that God will take care of our physical needs, protect us, and bring about the Kingdom.