Gospel: Luke 4:1-13
Jesus was now full of the Holy Spirit. As he returned from the Jordan, the Spirit led him into the desert, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. He did not eat anything during that time, and at the end he was hungry. The devil then said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to turn into bread.” But Jesus answered, “Scripture says: People cannot live on bread alone.”
Then the devil took him up to a high place, and showed him, in a flash, all the nations of the world. And he said to Jesus, “I can give you power over all the nations; and their wealth will be yours; for power and wealth have been delivered to me; and I give them to whom I wish. All this will be yours, provided you worship me.” But Jesus replied, “Scripture says: You shall worship the Lord your God and serve him alone.”
Then the devil took him up to Jerusalem, and set him on the highest wall of the temple; and he said, “If you are God’s Son, throw yourself down from here; for it is written: God will order his angels to take care of you; and again: They will hold you in their hands, lest you hurt your foot on the stones.” But Jesus replied, “It is written: You shall not challenge the Lord your God.”
When the devil had exhausted every way of tempting Jesus, he left him, to return another time.
READ: Israel’s gratitude to God is based on remembering the history of God’s faithfulness. Paul reminds us of God’s saving action in raising Jesus from the dead. Jesus begins his mission by resisting the devil’s blandishments of power and putting all his trust in God.
REFLECT: At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus had to face the deepest temptations. Would he seek his own comfort and needs? Would he use his gifts to pursue power and influence or to amaze people with his spectacular abilities? At root, these temptations were all about seeking his own glory rather than God’s. They deflected him from his true mission. In this spirit he rebuked Peter as “Satan,” when his disciple tried to steer him from the way of the Cross. What is our own mission? What are the temptations that seek to deflect us from that path?
PRAY: Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
ACT: Take each of the three replies that Jesus made to the devil. How could these help defend us against the temptations we have faced in our lives?
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