Every year on the first Sunday of Lent, we hear in the gospel how Jesus goes into the desert. Our 40-day journey in Lent is like Jesus’ own forty days in the desert. We, too, are called to confront our temptations – the same temptations as Jesus but in a 21st century context.
We may be tempted to find our salvation in material things or in our role as consumers. We may be tempted to forget the common good. We may be tempted to find our salvation in political power over others and military superiority. Jesus says no to these temptations. We cannot live by our possessions alone. We will not be fully live by becoming a like a god. We will not be saved by exploiting others. Jesus offers us hope. Jesus confronted temptation and was able to say “no.” There is hope for us! It is possible to resist temptation. It is possible to resist the pressure of our culture and society and to be free. It is possible to turn away from consumerism, materialism, violence, racism, and all kinds of social and personal sin. Jesus’ 40 days in the desert and his encounter with the evil one is a sign of hope for us all.