The Devil’s third temptation for Jesus in the Wilderness is Doubt. He leads Jesus to Jerusalem the city where he will soon be rejected and crucified. There he made him stand on the edge of the temple roof, and said to Him “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here “ then flipping the script he tries to trap Jesus with some scripture quoting of his own” for it is written: He will command his angels to guard you, With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone. But again Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy knowing he’s trying to make him doubt God’s care and rebukes him by saying,“It also says, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’” Jesus is referring back to the times the Israelites where tempted in Exodus. Lent is like a mini exodus leading us to the victory of Easter. We must always keep God as our refuge and fortress in whom we trust to see us to victory.
Obedience is the 2nd Temptation of the Devil for Jesus in the Wilderness. The evil one showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. Then he said to Jesus , “I shall give to you all this power and their 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.” but Jesus again quotes from Deuteronomy and says” ‘You shall worship the Lord, your God,and him alone shall you serve. Unlike the Israelites who gave into the false worship of The Golden Calf when they grew impatience of Moses up on Mt Sinai, Jesus says firm and loyal to the 1 st commandment of the law to not worship false gods or Idols and to remain obedient to God his Father alone. Let us reflect on any false gods, idols, or priorities in our lives during this week of Lent.
During the 40 Days that Jesus spent fasting in the desert, The first temptation he experienced from the devil was that of hunger. The Devil said ““If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus responds by quoting from the book of Deuteronomy. ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God” ---“God let the Israelites be afflicted with hunger in the desert, but then fed them with manna a food unknown to them, that prefigured the Eucharist, so that they might know that it is not by bread alone that people live, but faith. If we put our faith first, God will provide for our needs. Keep this in mind as we fast and abstain each Friday this Lent. If you already give up Meat on Fridays, give up something else to bring you a little hungur. For fasting purifies the soul, it shifts our prioritizes to God, and lets Him proved for us.
The 40 days of Lent remind us of when Jesus himself fasted and was tempted in the desert. In the bible 40 symbolizes a time of struggle, purification, and rebirth 40 weeks is the time it take a child to be develop in a mothers womb. Noah in the Ark watched it rain for 40 days and 40 nights and then the people of God were reborn after the flood, Moses went up Mt Sinai for 40 days to receive the Commandments and the and they were reborn in to a covenant and the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years to find the promised land...
Why is it that on Ash Wednesday, we always hear from the Gospel of Matthew about" not performing deeds of righteousness in order that people see them", we then proceed to have the priest make a cross of ashes on our forehead as we then go out into our workplaces, schools, and the public square? Doesn't this seem a paradox? While the gospel is a good reminder not to flaunt our good deeds nor to think we are better than others because we went to mass on a weekday, the truth is we don't wear the ashes as a sign of righteousness but rather as a recognition of our humble nothingness, owing everything to God, The priest usually says"remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return" ... biblically a sign on your forehead is a symbol of ownership, that we belong to God. As we begin this Lenten season of fasting and penance, Let us remember that we can do nothing without God and that He will give us the strength to endure everything.