With Ash Wednesday we have already entered the grace-filled season of Lent. Prayer, various forms of self-denial and acts of charity are the hallmarks of this holy season. The temptation presented dramatically, as if they occurred in a few minutes, far away in a wilderness before Jesus began his ministry. However, these temptations are what Jesus actually faced and overcame, during the three years of his public ministry. Was he not tempted to feed the people and thus become a social worker, having many people follow him? (Jn 6:26). He was tempted by the people to perform more miracles so as to increase their faith (Mt 12:38-39). He had to get away from the people to overcome the temptation of becoming their ‘King’, their political leader (Jn 6:15). Thus, the temptations of Jesus are related to his mission and he overcame them all. By giving in to them he would have enhanced his reputation among the people as a social worker, wonder worker and political leader; but that was not his mission. Anyone with a mission for Jesus would be tempted: victory will come only if the temptation for self- orientation is kept at bay.
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