In all my years, one this does not change.
However you disguise it, this thing does not change:
The perpetual struggle of Good and Evil.
Second, you neglect and belittle the desert.
The desert is not remote in the southern tropics.
The desert is not only around the corner,
The desert is squeezed in the tube-train next to you.
The desert is in the heart of your brother.
The last temptation is the greatest treason, to do the right thing for the wrong reason.
Murder in the Cathedral
Lent is a time of testing and trials, as well as of renewal, conversion, and grace.
In this first week of Lent, we are called to go into the desert within and face the perennial struggle between good and evil; light and darkeness; etc. To paraphrase T.S. Eliot - 'The desert is in our hearts'.
- We will always be tempted as Jesus was tempted. He was tempted to abandon his chosen mission, to be powerful, and to rely not on God but on his status. But Jesus said not to disobedience, pleasure, power and possession; and yes to love of God and service to others. In an increasingly secular and materialistic world, we are often tempted to think that we don't need God. Let us re-affirm our need for God to-day and turn to him in all we do and say.
- Our temptations may be different, but the reality is the same. Allures other than the Christian way will prove seductive. And sometimes our desires lead us into temptation. What should we do?
- What are some of the temptations we often face? How do we respond to them? Do we choose God over pleasure, power and possessions? Is God our greatest good? Can we ask for the grace and strength to be faithful to God to-day, each day, every day?
And so we pray ...
Lord, you promise not to tempt us beyond what we can bear.
Give us grace to-day when we face the struggle within and give us courage to overcome temptations and remain steadfast in our love for you and in our mission to bear witness to your love in our world.
Father Constantine Osuchukwu
Saint Paul's Anglican Church,
Bakery Hill, Ballarat