During the week, on Ash Wednesday, we began our Lenten Pilgrimage towards Easter. Today we are with Jesus as he is led by the Spirit, driven by the Spirit into the desert, to be tempted to compromise on his mission in life to preach the Good News of God’s love.
Reflecting on this Gospel is a good way for us to begin our Lenten Journey, as it invites us to change and become more like Jesus in our lives. Today, Jesus is tempted by false gifts of power, prestige and wealth – we too can be tempted in similar ways.
The first temptation sees Jesus invited to become something like a Superstar, by turning stones into bread. The second one tempts Jesus to become ‘the greatest’, a celebrity performing extraordinary feats to promote himself. In the third one Jesus is tempted to divert away from his mission to love and serve God and all of creation and to follow the one who can give temporal power and wealth. The temptations are a call to Jesus to move away from the kingdom of Love and Service, and to concentrate instead on control.
Maybe today’s Gospel challenges us to reflect on how we can be tempted to follow a path which can lead to prestige, power and wealth, rather than a path reflecting the love of God alive in our hearts.
- How am I tempted to lose my way and stray off the path of love?
- Do I sometimes forget that God is always walking at my side?
- Today’s reading invites us to reflect on our own value systems and our own direction in life. How do I cope when I am tempted to put power before love?
We know that God will always be walking at our side, just as God was with Jesus when he was in the desert. God always cares for us, encourages us and walks with us, especially through the most challenging of times.
Today we pray for all those who are being tempted by power and greed in our world. We remember those who are suffering because they are victims of those who seek power and wealth. We pray that we may be people who walk with others during their time of temptation through offering comfort and support in whatever way we can.
Miriam Weir OP