Friday, February 28, 2020

Resisting Temptation

Dear Parishioners,

Oscar Wilde, the witty British author and speaker, once said, “I can resist anything except temptation.” As we begin Lent, we see Adam and Eve giving into temptation (Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7), but Jesus, of course, overcomes temptation (Mt 4:1-11). However, it will not be the last time Jesus faces temptation. After he tells the apostles about his upcoming Passion, Death, and Resurrection, Peter tries to discourage Jesus from his intended plan. So Jesus rebukes Peter, calls him a satan, and tells the disciples that following Him requires suffering as well (Mt 16:21-23). And of course, there’s the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prays that, if possible, he might be spared of the Cross. But he finishes by saying to his Father “Still let it be as you would have it not as I.” On other occasions, the Scribes and Pharisees ask him for a sign to test him which he refuses to do as his miracles and teachings should have been enough. Finally, as he hung upon the cross, the crowd called for him to come down from it to prove he was the Son of God.

Jesus had not one but many temptations in his life, just as you and I. But he prepared and built up his resistance by prayer and fasting. It’s what we need to do if we want to overcome the temptations that will also follow us throughout our earthly lives. Lent is a season that invites us all to engage in a spiritual work out together so that we can follow Jesus. United we can encourage and support one another as we journey toward Easter.

Fr. Carl