Before Jesus began his ministry, he was severely tested by Satan. He was tempted to abuse his divine power. Although this may disturb us, it should not. For while Jesus is truly the Son of God, he is also the Son of Man: a man like us in all things but sin.
As we begin this Lenten Season, then, let us learn from Jesus’ example.
Jesus went into the desert to fast and to pray, and there Satan tempted him. Jesus overcame Satan’s temptation by trusting in God. While he will use his power to save others, he will not use his power to save himself. Jesus showed that he is the Son of God, not by a miraculous display of power, but by trusting in the power of God to save him.
Lent is a time to enter the desert with Jesus to discover who we are. It is a time to struggle with ourselves and our desires, with Satan and his temptations, to discover something about ourselves.
- Who are we?
- What is our relationship with God?
- How faithfully do we follow Christ?
- What sin or habit needs to be uprooted from our life so that we can celebrate Easter with a pure and sincere heart?
Where will we be forty days from now when we leave the desert of Lent? Will we leave the desert of Lent victorious with Jesus? If we do, we will share in the victory of his cross and resurrection. But if, at the end of Lent, we are still standing in the same place we are standing today, we will have squandered this time of grace. And who knows, perhaps this is the last Lent God has allotted to us. Who knows, perhaps this is our last chance to repent.