At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” He said in reply, “It is written: One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you and with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.” At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.” Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.
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This Sunday’s Gospel illustrates both Jesus’ humanity and divinity. Like all of us, he fasted and prayed, but he also grew hungry. I always find it fascinating that the God of the universe, who is so powerful he has no need for food, could grow hungry. In his humanity, Jesus allowed himself to feel hunger. This shows us that it’s okay to want the things we’re fasting from, but we have to stay strong. Jesus relied on our Heavenly Father, and so should we. Jesus knew that he was going to face temptations. He expected them to happen so he knew how to avoid giving into them. He resisted with the help of the scriptures and his faith, which inspires us to do the same. We emulate Jesus during Lent as we fast and pray for forty days. We know that we’ll be tempted along the way, but so did Jesus and he persevered. We’re called to be like Jesus, so let’s resist temptations like he did. He persevered for us, so let’s persevere for him. Let’s join him in relying on our Eternal Father and not on earthly things that will pass away.
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