By Most Rev. Richard W. Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton


This picture shows one of the panels on the holy door at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. I have always loved it, and it speaks beautifully of the Good Shepherd reaching out to save the lost. That's the reason for hope.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Temptation

This past Sunday we heard the Gospel account of the temptation of Jesus in the desert by Satan. The evil one besets The Lord with the seductions we face daily: to rely on self rather than God and to self-identify in terms of power, control, possessions and so on instead of as a beloved child of God.

At the root of our struggle with temptation is a fundamental choice, namely, to base our lives upon truth or a lie. Satan is the father of lies, and seduces us away from fidelity to God by lying to us, as he did Adam and Eve. Jesus is the Truth, and speaks the words of everlasting life. When we determine to establish ourselves on the word of Christ, then temptation is revealed for what it is: encouragement by deceit to captivity, to attaching ourselves to what is only passing, often illusory, and thus a drawing away from the freedom that issues from trust in the love, wisdom and providence of our Heavenly Father.

The Gospel account of the temptations reveals that, of course, there is no contest between Satan and Jesus, who sends the evil one packing. We, on the other hand, are weak and easily fall prey to the deceptions. Through our Lenten observance, may Jesus grant us a deeper sharing in his love for the Father and obedience to the Father's will so that, in him, we will be able to separate truth from the lie and live faithfully and freely as the children of God.