The hard part about being tempted is that what tempts us seems at the time of temptation to be a good thing. The choice is never completely clear cut. We are not usually tempted by something that is obviously not in our best interest. By that time, it is usually the case that it is too late. The subtle appearance of goodness has given way to an evil we cannot seem to do without.
That is the great means of temptation used by the devil. He makes rebellion against God seem like a good thing. Even with Jesus. He quotes Sacred Scripture, to make it appear that he is concerned with the spiritual well-being of Jesus.
And so it is with us too. The devil takes the act of rebellion and camouflages it. Eating the fruit is not bad, it is a way of gaining knowledge. Turning stones into bread is not bad, it is filling a legitimate need to eliminate hunger.
Jesus gives us the way that helps us to know what it is we should do. He has a deep and real relationship with the Father. His entry into the desert is really a time of deep prayer with the Father, which helps him to see the devil for who he is, and the devil’s temptation for what they are.
Lent is the time which helps us to be like Jesus. By engaging in some type of penance, we are more clearly able to distinguish between Jesus and the devil. It becomes more and more obvious that Jesus leads to life, the devil to death.
Let us pray.
I know that too often when I sin, it is because I do not see clearly. I do not have your wisdom, because I do not see as you see. I become tempted by what appears good because I do not take enough time for a relationship with you, and I have not spent enough time with you to recognize fully where you are active in my life. Help me to see more clearly what you want me to do, to avoid the devil and to avoid sin. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Music: Cheezy Piano Medley by Alexander Nakarada