Temptation. How many times have we been tempted in our lives? How many times has evil triumphed? Mark’s gospel states that Jesus was tempted only once by Satan, and that Jesus had the angels to take care of Him.
I know those acting on the Devil’s behalf have tempted us. We are also tempted to do wrong by ideas and influences of society. We often believe that doing “this one little thing wrong” won’t do any harm—but it does! When we fall prey to temptation, we are chipping away at our relationship with God. The little temptations we don’t resist weaken our relationship with God. These little things aren’t really so little: small sins build up, affecting our relationship with God to the point that we might feel we don’t need God in our lives, we stop coming to church, or we start thinking that we are the masters of our own destinies.
We pray in the Our Father, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” During this Lenten season, we should focus on our actions and avoid the near temptation of sin. We should strive to improve our relationship with God and with our family and friends. We should endeavor to bring Christ into every relationship and every encounter with every person we see. When we think our sufferings have become too much to bear, I would remind us all to take a look at the crucifix.
As we begin this solemn season, I ask you to reflect on your relationship with God, examine what obstacles lie in the way, and seek the peace and comfort that the Sacrament of Reconciliation can bring.
God loves each of us more than we can imagine. A little sacrifice during Lent shows our love for God. I pray that we use this Lent wisely as we prepare to celebrate in the joy of Easter.