“Jesus was led by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil …”
Fr Denny Dempsey writes: “Temptations to satisfy one’s physical hungers and desires, to acquire possessions and power, to be acclaimed and admired… such are the basic groups of the temptations that test every person. But were they really temptations in Jesus’ case?
Let’s look at a couple of dimensions of temptations. We might call the first the “invitation” of the temptation being placed before us. That is certainly present with the offers Satan presents Jesus. The second dimension is feeling a certain attraction to what is offered. Being human, Jesus did experience an attraction to the temptations, but his resistance was extremely strong based on both his divine identity as well as the discipline and dedication he lived each day and in particular through extended times of prayer. Jesus had just completed a forty-day retreat. Our resistance to temptation is stronger when we dedicate ourselves to God and immerse ourselves in prayer.
Are temptations always toward something morally wrong? We generally consider temptation in such a context, but we could also speak of being “tempted” to do a good deed, to give money to someone in need, to take a job that brings less income but makes a greater impact on society. Bottom line… temptation is a test in which we must choose between options. We pray that God not lead us into tests we are incapable of passing, but tests become opportunities to choose and do God’s will, to prove the strength of our convictions.”
Happy Lent to all our parishioners!!