Thoughts for your consideration
In Mark’s gospel, the story of Jesus’ temptations in the desert is summarized in one brief sentence. “The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan.” This may be a good occasion for us to use our imaginations and experience in order to reflect on the temptations which we encounter in our world today – especially in the area of social sin.
We may be tempted:
* to assess who we are by what we have [materialism, greed, consumerism]
* to live a life of rugged individualism, rather than solidarity and community [individualism, pride, selfishness, political cronyism]
* to control or manipulate others rather than respect freedom and human rights [misuse of the media, propaganda, lying]
* by the attractiveness of power and the use of fear and violence [militarism, all kinds of abusive behaviors]
* to prejudge or exclude others [racism, sexism, classism, discrimination]
* to use immoral means toward good ends
* to use the gift of creation is an abusive and destructive way [environmental sins]
* to be silent in the face of injustice.
Lent is a time for us to slow down and reflect on the temptations we encounter and learn from them. Lent is a time for us to grow into a new way of being.
All three readings remind us of the desire of God to save us from all these temptations and evils and lead us to something better. The bow in the sky, the covenant, the baptism of Christ, the ministry of angels to Jesus, and the proclamation of Jesus to the people of Galilee, all remind us of the salvation that God wants for us and for our world. This salvation must extend to our structures and institutions so that all men and women can enjoy salvation. In the gospel Jesus proclaims: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
What are the temptations that you encounter in our contemporary culture?
How do they pull you from the spirit of Christ?