First Sunday of Lent
We often encounter moments of temptation in everyday life.The temptation of money, the temptation of man, the temptation of power, and various temptations at least experience in our lives.Our believers who became children of God as baptisms also often sin in many temptations in their journey of faith and often become separated from God.Religious brother and sister and priests also often suffer from temptation.
The temptation seems inevitable in our life’s journey.How can we overcome temptation in the will of God?Jesus personally showed us how to overcome temptation and obey God’s will in the moment of temptation. In today’s Gospel, Jesus went into the wilderness by the guidance of the Holy Spirit before the public life and was tempted by the devil for 40 days. When I went to the holy land pilgrimage, I went to the wilderness mountain where Jesus was tempted, and I felt very desolate for it place. In such a space, Jesus would have been hungry for fasting.
At that time the devil came to Jesus and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to turn into a loaf.“The devil also knew that Jesus was the Son of God, and tempted Jesus to use God’s power by provoking the desire for hunger.Jesus, however, overcame temptation by quoting Deuteronomy, “Man does not live by bread alone.“Jesus overcame temptation for the substance called bread.The first temptation of the devil was to perform the power of God for the desire for material, but Jesus overcame temptation.The devil tempted Jesus to take him to a high place and give him the power and glory of all nations, but Jesus overcame temptation by quoting Deuteronomy, “You must worship the Lord your God, serve him alone.“
The second temptation of the devil was about power. Even in the failure of the second temptation, the devil took Jesus to Jerusalem and asked him to throw himself from the top of the temple, and the devil also tempted him to quote the Bible. But Jesus overcame temptation through the Deuteronomy, “You must not put the Lord your God to the test.” The third temptation of the devil was the temptation to do miracles for the honour. Because he overcame all three temptations, Jesus was able to reveal Himself as the Son of God through public life and fulfil God’s will. According to section 539 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Catechism teaches us about the temptation Jesus experienced as follows: The evangelists indicate the salvific meaning of this mysterious event: Jesus is the new Adam who remained faithful just where the first Adam had given in to temptation. Jesus fulfils Israel’s vocation perfectly: in contrast to those who had once provoked God during forty years in the desert, Christ reveals himself as God’s Servant, totally obedient to the divine will. In this, Jesus is the devil’s conqueror: he “binds the strong man” to take back his plunder. Jesus’ victory over the tempter in the desert anticipates victory at the Passion, the supreme act of obedience of his filial love for the Father.
The temptations Jesus experienced did not use your divine power for your good in the temptations of Satan as a struggle against distorting the Messianic work of Jesus. The temptations to the substance, power, and honour that Jesus experienced are the temptations that we are continually experiencing in our lives. But we are easily tempted to possess a lot of material and to ignore others by power and honour. But we must overcome these temptations that are happening in our hearts through this lent time like Jesus. Jesus was able to overcome such temptations to fulfil God’s will despite the ability to do God’s power. We must also be able to overcome the temptations of our desires for the stronger will of God. Let us pray that in times of trouble to overcome temptation, “Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.“ The Lord is always with us in our difficult situations and moments and gives us the strength to overcome the temptations of the devil. In the second reading, the apostle Paul said: “If your lips confess that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved.“ Through our mouths of confession and faith in the heart, we will be saved, and we will find God in any temptations of the world. We need time and space like the wilderness to discover God. In situations where we can easily overcome temptation, we must first find God and choose God’s will to overcome temptation. Let’s not be tempted to avoid the difficulty, the pain, and the trials. Let us keep in mind that the temptation of a moment is to make us more distant from God. God is giving us more time to tame and mature through the time of solitude, trials, and difficulties of the wilderness. Through the yearly observances of Lent, we must realise the mystery of Christ more deeply and bear fruit in the life of repentance. Through the yearly observances of Lent, we must realise the mystery of Christ more deeply and bear fruit in the life of repentance. Therefore, let us all listen to and believe in the Lord’s Word in this gracious Lent provided by the Lord, and be faithful to the Lord’s grace to overcome the temptations of the devil and to come true repentance.
By, Fr. Andrew Kim