A reading of the holy Gospel according to Mark 1:12-15
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
REFLECTION:... for forty days, tempted by Satan.
We all have heard the whispers...."If you want to be great; If you want to be rich; or If you want to be popular".....if, if, and if, just do this and you will be all you want to be. The situation applies to our state in life... we hear that whisper, it is okay to cheat because that is how you will keep up. It is okay to have that abortion, everyone is doing it and you won't be embarrassed, inconvenienced or lose out in a scholarship or internship or your happiness. It is okay to lie, cover up, rationalize our poor decisions because the goal is almost within reach. After all we are in full control of our lives. We are also in full control of our free wills. But will we make it to heaven?
There is an old proverb, "Even if flesh is dressed in silk, it is still flesh."
At His baptism Jesus fully surrendered to the will of His Father and became fully alive in the Holy Spirit. And in the desert for forty days He was tempted by Satan. Jesus knew His Scripture, had complete surrender to the Father and He was able to resist the devil, no matter how hungry, how tired, how cold or hot or how sleepy. Jesus, the Christ, laid out in front of us how to defeat temptation.
St Jose Maria Escriva in The Way...
"The supernatural way of conducting yourself is real military strategy. You carry on the war --the daily struggles of your interior life--in positions far from the main walls of your fortress.
And the enemy comes to meet you there in your small mortification, in your daily prayer, in your orderly work, in your plan of life.
And only with difficulty does he get close to the otherwise easily-scaled battlements of your citadel. And if he does, he arrives exhausted. "
Lent is the time to get closer to Jesus and surround ourselves in His passion. Every time we sin, confession strengthens our faith and we receive the special graces of Jesus through the priest so that our temptations appear to be more powerless. Jesus does not leave us alone, He is there for the needed strength and grace, with the many saints, His Mother, the Bible and the Sacraments so that our wills can surrender to His Father's Will.
Today, contemplate the Wounds of Jesus on the Cross. With each wound say, "Jeeesus--Mercy" as many times as we want.
God Bless You