“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
On the second Sunday of lent, we talk about temptation, and how Jesus was tempted by the devil when He was in the wilderness after having fasted forty days. In the reading of the gospel of St. Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus was tempted by the devil three times, where the devil was attacking both his soul and body.
Satan tempts Jesus three times, he commands Him to turn the stone into bread, he commands Him to jump off the pinnacle of the temple, and he commands Jesus to worship him. The first temptation is an attack on the body, for Jesus was hungry after His fast, and the devil tempted him with food so that Jesus would satisfy His physical needs. The second temptation was an attack on the soul, in which the devil tells Jesus to jump, thus defying the laws of gravity and defying the capability of humanity. Then the third temptation, in which the devil asks Christ to worship him, thus, commanding Him to be in complete submission to him.
This passage of the gospel teaches us several things. It reminds us that the journey of the lent has many temptations, because Satan “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). We must always remember that the devil attacks us on both our body and soul, as he did with Jesus. We are taught to always remember how cunning the devil can be, and also that he is the father of lies. Many things that the devil promises are lies; he has no authority, and He is our Lord who has all power.
It teaches us the importance of fasting in overcoming temptation and sin, and in particular, overcoming the devil. Fasting raises our spiritual awareness, and as a result, the Holy Spirit is active in our life.
Despite the difficulty of the trials, yet we are joyful, because our powerful God conquered the devil. Regardless of how strong our enemy may seem, and despite the numerous trials, yet he is a defeated enemy compared to our Lord’s might and the power of His life-giving Cross.
It is our duty this week to examine our faith in the love of the Father who gave His Son for us. Our faith that fortifies us against the temptations and emotions; faith in the Father; a faith that fortifies us against the temptation of the devil, the hardships of this world and the sufferings and desires of the body.