All of us struggle with temptation from time to time.  Sometimes we are more vulnerable to temptation than others.  People can try to exploit that vulnerability for their own gain – how quickly in recent years have our favourite sporting events become awash with betting advertising, for example?  Today’s Gospel reminds us that Jesus, being fully human and fully divine, knows that challenge as we do.

Even those of us who think we’re pretty good at self-control can succumb.  The Confiteor we pray at Mass reminds us that we can be tempted both to do, and fail to do.  We can be tempted to walk past the homeless in the street without a thought, to accept the narrative that paints genuine refugees as “illegal immigrants”, or stay silent when we hear others say things that we know are offensive or discriminatory.

Temptations can sometimes feel like a good thing.  Consciously or otherwise, they can allow us to escape from things that we find challenging or confronting.  Yet deep down, we know the ‘escape’ they bring is a fleeting, false hope.  Lent challenges us to step out of the darkness that temptation brings and seek the light of Christ, that calls us to be our best selves and to  to bring the fullness of life to others.

As with Jesus, moments of vulnerability can expose us to temptation.  Does our faith help us to stand firm?

Published in our parish bulletin, Carmel, 26 February 2023

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