At the First Sunday of Lent, St. Luke’s Gospel narrates Jesus temptation experience after forty days in the desert. He may not have been in a good physical condition, having fasted and prayed all that time in hostile territory. Just like any human person, he was hungry. Then the devil took the opportunity to subject Jesus to all sorts of temptations, but he persevered. He was able to parry any attempt by the devil to cause him to sin.
Stress, anxiety, tiredness, and loneliness can often provide a situation conducive for succumbing to temptation. In these circumstances our natural defenses may be down, emotional or physical needs may be great, and submitting to temptation temporarily offers an easy way out.
However, the Lord also gave us His Word, the source of wisdom, guidance and strength. We can use the Word to lead us into the right way when fighting against temptation and the forces of evil.
St. Paul wrote,
“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”
—that is, the word of faith that we preach—, for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. For the Scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom. 10: 8-13)
In life, there are situations that test us, especially when we’re asked to make a stand and thus strengthen our faith. As Fr. Armand likes to remind, “The Christian life is not only about avoiding evil, it also includes doing good”. Just like Jesus who emerged victorious over sin, we can also defeat the works of the devil and come out with our souls unscathed.
The Word is the best way to live our lives. Moses tells the people (and that includes us too) how Yahweh heard them and delivered them from oppression and brought them to the land flowing with milk and honey. Similarly, using the Word as guide in our daily lives help us make it a habit, eventually living with it as if our lives fully depend on it.
Let us therefore use the Word to help create our future living with God for all eternity.