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Friday, February 15, 2013




            After the baptism of Jesus, He was ready to inaugurate the Kingdom of God through His public ministry.  But He needed to prepare His strategy for the next three years so He went into the desert for a 40-day retreat.   It was important for Jesus to be in communion with His Father before He embarked on His public ministry.
         During this time of prayer and discernment, the Devil tempted Jesus by offering Him shortcuts to glory.  The three temptations in the desert would represent all the temptations and trials throughout the life of Jesus as well as our own temptations in the present time.  They were in a way instant solutions promising redemption without going through the cross.  And what else can best appeal to the senses than the appetites which every human being craves for: survival, security and social acceptance.

         Lent is the translation of the Latin term quadragesima (Italian quaresima, Spanish cuaresma) which means forty days. This is the season in the Church when her members enter into a forty day spiritual retreat just like what Jesus did in the desert. 

For a hungry person, nothing matters but food.  The way of the world is survival of the fittest!    When the resources are scarce, one has to result to violence even to the point of killing most especially when the other person becomes a threat to one’s survival.   For some, crimes become the norms to get that food into one’s mouth or into the belly of their dependents.    Others may justify saying ‘Never mind if it’s illegal or immoral as long as we live.’   These and many other modus operandi are the present day temptations to us when we are hungry and all around us are stones of opportunities that promise survival.

         Next to survival is the basic need of security.  We work hard to secure our future and the future of our loved ones.   Though many of us live by the day from the fruit of our daily labour, some are more fortunate than us by having more than what they need.   The world has always measured success by the fortune or wealth one has accumulated.  Because “fortune favours the brave”, we tend to take the risk to be successful.  These risks are the many forms of temptations in our lives to take in anything that glitters or everything that give us pleasure.  Like the temptation of survival, it does not matter if we live immoral lives or go through illegal means just to possess that blanket of security.

         The third temptation was about social acceptance.  Isn’t it true that we resort in doing many tricks to be accepted by others?  Because of pressure, incoming members of a fraternity/sorority are asked to do impossible things in the process of initiation towards the spirit of brotherhood/sisterhood.    Some may tend to grab attention from others because it is good to be noticed, affirmed and applauded.

         Temptation in itself is not bad because it is part of our human nature.  It becomes sinful when we give in to the temptation.  Jesus as a man was tempted but did not sin because He did not give in to the Devil.   Oftentimes when we are able to overcome temptations, we just do not become triumphant but we become better persons.  It is because in times of trials, our values are tested and if we are victorious it is not because we are that strong but because we depended on the strength provided by God.

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