In today’s Gospel, we hear that the devil tempted Jesus in the desert as he fasted and prayed before beginning his ministry. This story makes me realize that if Satan tempted Jesus and tried swinging him over to the dark side, he would certainly try to do the same to me.
We live in a time where Satan doesn’t have to hide anymore, yet the world still can’t see him. The Bible warns how Satan does his evil work in plain view. He counterfeits God’s voice to lure us with all the power and riches the world can give. How? Take a few minutes each day this week and reflect on the following:
Romans 1:18-32; 2 Peter 3:3-7 Satan speaks by separating creation from God's design, encouraging us to worship the creation instead of the Creator, defending animals but not unborn babies, worshiping sex outside of God's design, promoting evolution as an accident or coincidence.
Matthew 4:1-11, (especially. v. 6) Satan speaks by misrepresenting God's Word - twisting, cutting, pasting, and misusing it.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 Satan offers a fake version of godliness, using false definitions of love to persuade us to accept our culture's moral values and do things against God's Word.
Ephesians 5:6 Satan speaks through people, watering down the gospel, persuading us to take the easy way, to put ourself first.
Genesis 3:1-7 Satan speaks through circumstances, opening doors of temptation.
Pope Francis says going into the desert during Lent helps us hear the voice of God so we can make room for others in our heart and strengthen solidarity with our brothers and sisters. He says when our interior life gets caught up in our own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others - that God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of His love is no longer felt - the desire to do good fades - and that is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life.
As we begin our Lenten journey through the desert, may we take time to hear God’s voice and experience a personal encounter with Him. May we strive to be like Jesus, surrendering ourselves to the care of our Heavenly Father, and be a servant to His will and the plan He has for us.
May you have a Blessed and Happy Lent! Deacon John