Powerful Catholic Reflection for the day – 26th February 2023

Hello Friend!!! Welcome you to this Powerful Catholic Reflection for the day 26th February 2023. I am very happy to see you coming to read this reflection. Today’s readings.

Main Theme of the Day: Tempted and Tested and Proved!

First ReadingGenesis 2. 7-9, 3. 1-7
Second ReadingRomans 5:12-19
Gospel ReadingMatthew 4:1-11
Readings of the Day

Focus of the Today

 The greatness of Christian life is not to have temptations at all but to face them, fight them, and overcome them

Inspiring Catholic Reflection for the Day

1.      In today’s gospel, we have the episode of the temptations of Jesus. They are three. They take place in the wilderness. They happen after forty days of fasting and prayer. And soon after them, Jesus begins his public ministry. We can pick up different indicators from this temptations narrative.

2.       One indicator: Temptations are willed or allowed by God. They form part of human life and divine mission. For we are told that Jesus was led by the Spirit to be tempted. Therefore, temptations are quite real in everyone’s life. No one is exempted. One need not feel guilty or ashamed of them. In the light of St Francis de Sales’ teaching, what makes one blameworthy is not having or getting temptations but entertaining, indulging in them, and consenting to them.

3.       Second indicator: Jesus is in full solidarity with our human struggle. The fact that even Jesus himself was tempted shows that God partakes in the struggle of human fragility. He became one like us in everything except sin. Jesus is sinless and remains so. Yet this does not exempt him from the struggle to remain sinless. As divine, he is sinless. But as a human, he had to confront the assaults of the tempter. This is what makes him praiseworthy: he remains sinless even amidst a sinful situation. This makes both his divinity and humanity more convincing. His divinity shines amidst humanity and his humanity shines amidst divinity.

4.       Third indicator: the temptations of Jesus are summary temptations. This would mean, they are not necessarily literally happened temptations. We are not sure whether Jesus was factually tempted to change stones into bread, to worship Satan to gain the whole world or to jump down from a height. Rather, they summarize the whole life struggle of Jesus. There were always temptations to use his divine power for self-interest, to test God, and to seek worldly riches and powers.

5.       Fourth indicator: the temptations of Jesus are allusive to Israel in the OT (cf. Deut 8.3; 6. 13, 16). The first temptation about food alludes to Israel in the desert, how they grumble and complain about food and drink. The second temptation alludes to how Israel was allured by the world, the material possessions, and false gods time and again. The third temptation alludes to how Israel adamantly tests God despite all his numerous mighty works.

6.       Fifth indicator: the temptations of Jesus are suggestive and indicative of our own temptations. In a simple way, the temptations of Jesus can be categorised as physical, social, and material. The temptation to change stones into bread, eat and thus satisfy hunger indicates our frequent temptation for physical things, like food and drink, physical pleasures, and easy and temporary gratifications. The temptation to jump down from the height and remain unharmed indicates our social temptation for name, fame, and popularity through shortcuts.

7.       Sixth indicator: the crux of temptations is self-seeking and self-glory. In each of the three temptations, there is seeking self-interests and self-glory. It is in terms of physical satisfaction, material accumulation, and social recognition and domination. So often we are assaulted by these temptations. Just one glance is enough. We can easily see how these three temptations are ruling high. Flesh, power, money, and cheap glory dominate today’s world and the church is no exception.

What then are the remedies? Follow the way of Jesus. Let the spiritual sublimate the physical: “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord”. Let the trust in God overpower the tendency to test God: “Do not put God to the test”. Let loyalty to God surpass worldly allurements: “You shall worship the Lord your God alone”.

Direction For Life

In a life that is constantly attacked and even inflicted by temptations, let us arm ourselves with the weapons of prayer, fasting, and charity. They help us to cling to God, to be self-restrained and unselfishly self-giving

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