There is an interesting phrase in today’s gospel about the temptation of Jesus. Namely, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by Satan. Why? Why would the Spirit lead the Son into the desert? While the easy answer is that there must be a good reason if it is something the Spirit does, it still leaves a big question. Fortunately, Saint Thomas Aquinas answers it. He indicates four reasons it was fitting for Jesus to be tempted, and they are all for our benefit.
Life is hard. Its ongoing pressures, injustices, war, famine, disease, suicide, and depression. Making the right decision isn’t always the easiest one to make and we can be tempted time and time again into breaking ourselves and our ideals.
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 all experience temptation. Even Jesus experienced temptation. How does Satan want to take you away from a relationship with God? That is his goal. Think about what you can do to use the grace of God just as Jesus did when he was tempted.
We can find ourselves blaming God for many things. We can watch a loved one suffer with cancer, and despite our prayers, die. We can have a difficult situation, and despite our prayers have it not turn out so well. We can have a broken relationship, and despite our prayers, find it remains broken. Sometimes we blame God for these things, but in fact, God calls us to something better than we can see here. The gospel today challenges us to remember that God is the abundant giver of new life.