Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lead us away from temptation

Lord God, prepare our hearts
as we journey through the season of Lent.
Help us to turn away from sin and
turn our hearts toward your love.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

"Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days,
to be tempted by the devil.
He ate nothing during those days,
and when they were over he was hungry.
The devil said to him,
If you are the Son of God,
command this stone to become bread. 
Jesus answered him,
It is written, One does not live on bread alone. 
Then he took him up and showed him
all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.
The devil said to him,
I shall give to you all this power and glory;
for it has been handed over to me,
and I may give it to whomever I wish.
All this will be yours, if you worship me. 
Jesus said to him in reply,
It is written:
You shall worship the Lord, your God,
and him alone shall you serve. 
Then he led him to Jerusalem,
made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,
If you are the Son of God,
throw yourself down from here, for it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,
With their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone. 
Jesus said to him in reply,
It also says,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test. 
When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time (Lk 4:1-13).

In the gospel today Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness for forty days. While he is there, Jesus is tempted by the devil. Luke describes the temptations as the three most alluring temptations of his day: love of pleasure, love of riches, and love of power. Jesus resists the devil, which gives witness to how followers of Christ are to deal with temptation.
Today’s gospel reading also has Jewish roots. The Israelites wandered forty years in the desert after God delivered them from Egypt. They were tested with hunger, the lure of false Gods, and the temptation to test God. Jesus experienced the very same temptations and unlike many of the Israelites before him, he responded to each of them out of faithfulness to God. Jesus relies completely on God when confronted with temptation and in doing so he reverses the human infidelity of past history.

So what tempts us? Probably the same things as in the ancient world, love of pleasure, love of riches, and love of power. How do we overcome these temptations? The answer is "Trust in God". Ask for Gods help when faced with the temptations you experience each day. In the long run, giving in to these temptations will not bring happiness. Sometimes, in the giving in to our temptations, we are faced with bigger problems than if we had resisted them. If we place ourselves in God's hands, we have to have faith that God knows what we need and will take care of those needs.
Enjoy Lent as a time to develop your relationship with God.
Make Lent a time to choose God. You won't be disappointed.

Peace and Love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

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