1st SUN LENT – Basic Temptation

Jesus tempted 2Jesus hungered in the wilderness.  He was tempted there and in that state – ‘make stone bread’.  Actually, the Greek says, “Say this stone is bread.”  He wasn’t tempted to exercise divine power or to perform magic.  He faced the fundamental temptation we all face:

Make something be what it isn’t.  

A stone isn’t bread.  If you take a bite, you will have to go to the dentist.  And it will be worse for your stomach than gall stones.

You and I are tempted each and every day to make something be what it isn’t:

At times we need to shop for what we need.  Shopping isn’t made to fill our empty souls.

At times alcohol brightens dinner conversation and brings joy.  Alcohol isn’t made to take away pain.  We get in trouble when we use it for that.

Same thing with relationships, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll.  All these things have a purpose.  When we use them to numb out a sense of inferiority, emptiness, loneliness, fear, unworthiness, inadequacy, or resentment, we hurt ourselves and others.

Jesus embraced the depths of human hunger and need.  He accepted the limitations of all creation.  He didn’t need to make one good thing be something it isn’t.

 

IMOS     Brazen Marketing Ploy:     See a fuller treatment of this passage: In the Midst of Our Storms: Opening Ourselves to Christ in the Liturgy, chapter 4 – “Jesus Temptations in the Light of the Hungers of the Human Heart.” (LTP)

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