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Sunday, February 21, 2010

This Sunday we contemplate the three temptations of Jesus and his rejection of each. He was hungry after his fast and the devil comes to tempt him. He replies, "Not by bread alone... and then come the other two temptations that are a more subtle use of power: "Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, "To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'" Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'" Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time."
Even though Jesus rejected each of the temptations, the devil only left to wait "until an opportune time." We must constantly be aware that the devil will attack where he sees we are weak. Let us pray with all our heart the phrase we say each time we recite the Our Father: "And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." This first Sunday of Lent makes us aware that even Jesus was tempted and we must be on our guard.

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