Lent Day 8
In the fourth chapter of Luke’s Gospel, the temptations of Jesus are recorded that we may know that our Lord was like us in all things, even subject to temptation but sin. The Lord was tempted at the beginning of his public ministry as an attempt to sway him from his purpose [which has always been to do the Father’s will]. Rather than waste a skerrick of time, the devil immediately approaches Jesus, introducing his presence when an all-important spiritual endeavour is about to launch.
The first point to note is the reality of the devil and its uncontrolled resistance to spiritual ascent. The devil is not just something abstract and far removed from this empirical world, it is a reality that lurks around as 1 Peter says
“like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” [1 Peter 5:8].
This is the beginning of Lent, a period when we acknowledge not only our sinfulness and the depth of its clutches, but also the power of God to save, heal and to conquer evil.
Imagine now that the Mother Church calls her children to ‘remember’ these 40 days of spiritual journey with Jesus in preparation for the great mystery of our salvation, the restless adversary moves around with an intention to approach us by any means to make little or mockery of our spiritual exercises.
The point is clear, the devil and its persistence are a reality to keep in mind yet should not be the centre of our focus. While we keep a very modest level of openness to the mercy of Jesus, let us not be victims of acute reductionism that doubts the existence and menace of the devil.
Prayer: Lord God, my eyes are turned to you, defend and protect me for in you I take refuge. Amen.
Fr Victor Okhiria