Detox! Reboot! Press pause! Stop for a moment, may be even 40 days and 40 nights! Take time to think about life, your life! Think about hunger! Think about power! Think about testing God’s existence! The three temptations! Temptations which haven’t changed much over time! Promising food if you’re starving, but only if…….! Promising power and prestige, if you sell your soul! “You say there’s a God? Prove it?” “Show me, but I’ll decide what that proof is!“
How do you relate to these temptations? How do you feel about the world we live in and what is happening to it? There is so much violence, killing and disregard for the sanctity of the human person, human life, in our world. So many people living just to survive amidst a constant barrage of violence and killing: Afghanistan; Syria; Iraq; Palestine and most recently in the Ukraine. Just some examples.
When Jesus came out of the wilderness Jesus, the devil tried to lure him with food, power and a taunt about God’s presence in the world. None of it worked! So many people experience and undergo torture to get them to submit to the Aggressor. But somehow, they too hold out. But all too often they suffer long-term consequences. But the violence stops with them they don’t retaliate. They become living witnesses and a presence in our world that power and might doesn’t have the final say and never will.
Lent is the time to pull back and reflect on the life I’m leading. It is the time to commit ourselves to Gospel values. Chapter 6 in Luke’s Gospel has been telling us what that means these last three Sundays. The follower of Jesus doesn’t respond to violence with violence or hate with more hate but brings love in the face of hate and peace in the face of war. It’s hard and its effectiveness isn’t always visible but it is there. If you want to see it, you will find it!
Let us pray this Lent for peace, for an end to conflict in our communities and our families where all too often that residue of pain gets transposed onto a bigger, wider stage. Good, Love, always conquers evil!