When saying the Lord’s Prayer, I always feel the importance of the phrase “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Such fear is founded on the realization that we are weak and need strength and courage from the Spirit to resist temptations and avoid falling into sin. That is why we should always reserve judgment on other people as Jesus has emphasized, because we may also fall into the same situation. It is also important to realize that the evil one has also adjusted the way he lures people into sin: he allows them to be in their comfort zones, pamper them with wealth and comfort in order for them to become complacent and unmindful of others in the community who are in need of help and support. They become lukewarm, they are only concerned on their own welfare and security. “Never mind the neighbors and others, we have our own lives to live”, they say. Without realizing it you may be in such a situation. You may never know that in exchange for the comfort and seemingly safe conditions you are in, your soul is already on the verge of decay and death.
In the Gospel today (Lk. 4: 1-13), Jesus proved His strength over evil when He was able to resist all the kinds of temptations that the devil offered to Him. He uttered the famous phrases “One does not live on bread alone“, “You shall worship the Lord, your God, and Him alone shall you serve” and to prove that God reigns above all, “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” The Lord wants you to realize that the things the devil offered Him or will be offering you are not the most important or the most relevant in life. The evil one will be sugarcoating it with attractive options too hard for you to resist.
The Scriptures offer us a glimpse of the Spirituality that we have to develop if we are to grow in faith. We are reminded on what things matter the most and that God will provide for our material needs. In our faith response, we trust that God will be faithful (He always is) and thus we worship Him alone and no other.
The challenge though is you will find it really difficult to discern which events in life are important in your life journey and not lead you elsewhere. Just very recently a brother in the faith shared with me the struggles in his new assignment, as health and anxieties came along with it. The job may look better but there is certainly an exchange for something that he loves or cares about. Looking at it in the context of today, it may be a subtle temptation that has to be dealt with. But then again, we never know, so we have to “pray without ceasing”. He’s contemplating of leaving and as I offered prayers told him, “… God is working on it now. He’ll answer these (your) prayers.” Praying will enable you to see clearly beyond the cloudiness in the horizon.
As we observe this First Sunday of Lent, let us pray fervently the Lord’s prayer, so that the Almighty God grant us the grace to see temptation in its cunning forms. May His Spirit give us the wisdom to discern on things that matter the most, that God provides for all our needs, and He’s faithful on His promises. This should be more than enough for us to believe and trust in Him.