In this Sunday’s gospel, we witness Jesus out in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by the devil. It gives us insight into what the next forty days of the Lenten season might feel like for us, and most importantly, the encouragement given to us by God to persevere.
The temptation of Jesus reminds us of his humanity and provides us with an entry point. As human beings, gifted by God with free will, there are many things within the world we live in that distract us from our relationship with the Lord: money, social media, materialism, popularity – societal pressure as a whole. The Lenten season allows us to reflect on this question: how does one be in the world, but not of the world?
“What are you giving up for Lent?” It would be easy to simply say “chocolate” and continue on for the next forty days um-ing and ah-ing when it came around to dessert time. Or “meat” and several days later on Friday realise you’ve just bitten into a cheeseburger. Jesus is calling us to challenge ourselves this Lent; to fast from distraction and to give some of our time back to him beyond the hour of Mass each Sunday. He calls us to be in the world, enjoying the beauty of our humanity through experiences of love and joy, yet not controlled by the vices of the world. So, as we begin this new season, challenge yourself to step away from things that are worldly, in order to step closer to Jesus, the saviour of the world.
Today, Jesus reminds us: “You must worship the Lord your God, and serve him alone.” And with the power of these words, the devil left him and the angels appeared to care for him. Let this be our prayer today as we endeavour to use more of our time to invest in our relationships with the Lord. He, and all the angels and saints, will take care of us.