This Lenten Journey starts with the 1st Sunday's Gospel from St. Matthew 4: 1-11, and Jesus is showing us all about temptations!
If His journey in the desert starts with the evil one tempting Him...
Then it makes sense that we should be experiencing some temptations as well! So good that Holy Mother Church has us reflecting on this Gospel right now!
It's not a question of whether or not we will be tempted... It's about what we do when we are tempted!
We are called to resist temptations... basically to "resist the devil and he will flee" (James 4:7).
But that is not so easy, is it?! Jesus is calling us as His followers to follow His example -- proclaim the Word of God -- Speak it out against temptation!
For every temptation there is a Word from God from the Bible that counteracts the temptation!
In the book, "Imitation of Christ" (Book 1, Chapter 13), it's all about "Resisting Temptations."
It quotes the book of Job when it says, "Man's life on earth is a temptation" and that everyone on earth should be solicitous about his temptations and watch in prayer lest the devil find an opportunity to catch him!
But here is the GOOD NEWS!
The book says: "Temptations are very profitable to man, troublesome and grievous though they may be, for in them, a man is humbled, purified and instructed."
All the saints passed through many tribulations and temptations and were purified by them!
"By degrees and by patience you will, by God's grace, better overcome them than by harshness and your own importunity."
Now here is the part that reminds me of the work in this battle for LIFE! The chapter on temptation goes on to say:
“… do not deal harshly with one who is tempted: but pour in consolation, as you would wish to be done unto yourself.”
Sometimes in this war of abortion where children’s lives are slaughtered and women’s hearts and lives are broken - and death destroys the family, we forget that we need to be pouring consolations into the hearts of these women seeking abortions and not judge them!
It’s very tempting to get rid of the problem -- some of these problems surrounding an unplanned pregnancy are so mountainous that so much faith is needed to take that step forward and have the baby!
Abortion has become the solution that makes the problem go away quickly and without anyone knowing about it - hence no shame! It’s all a lie and one of the biggest temptations of our time!
The word of God we can refer to is about not judging our neighbor:
Matthew 7:1 - “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
And about choosing Life and not sin:
2 Kings 18:32 - “Choose Life and not death!”
Exodus 14:13-14 - “Do not be afraid, Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today….. The Lord will fight for you: you need only to be still.”
And on resisting the devil and temptations:
James 4:7 - “Submit yourselves, then, to God, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
James 1 - “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance…”
This 1st Sunday of our Lenten Journey, let’s dive deep into the WORD Of God - our sword in the battle for Life!
And let’s pray for all the women who are tempted every day by the evil one to end the life of their children…
Let’s follow Jesus into the dessert and be the angels God is calling us to be to pour out consolation and mercy to all who are tempted and need our help.
May God bless you on your Journey through Lent for Life!