Someone once said, “Opportunity only knocks once, but temptation knocks all the time.” Yes, in our desire to be happy, in our desire to find what we are looking for, in our desire to love and be loved, we look at the answers in the wrong places, persons, and things. As a result, we fall for the temptation.
We are familiar with the temptations of Jesus in the desert, from Satan:
- The temptation of “My will and not God’s will.” Jesus was obviously very hungry and the temptation was, “Turn this stone in to bread.” Modern human beings want everything instant, fast, and convenient. For those who follow God though, “Everything has a time, everything has a season, and everything has a purpose under heaven.”
- The temptation of power. There is a saying, “if you want to know the true character of a person, give them power”. Satan thus tempted Jesus with power, “If you are the Son of God, through yourself from the highest point and the angels will save you.” In other words, use your power for your own self.
- The temptation of material things. Since the beginning, people have always believed that money and material things are the source of happiness. This is what Satan did to Jesus when he showed him all the kingdoms of the world. In fact, nowadays we know of so many people who live with greed and forget the teachings of Christ, “What profit does it gain a person to have the whole world and lose the soul.”
Therefore, three things we can do to fight temptation:
- Practice Faith. We are reminded in readings that in the world that we live in there is the seen and the unseen. In the unseen, there is the devil that wants to destroy the plan of God in us, hence the constant temptation. St. John Bosco said, “Rosary and the Holy Eucharist are very powerful against the temptations of the devil.”
- Be Jesus Christ. Jesus trusted God and because of that, he conquered sin and death. Hence, the challenge is to be like Christ. Trust God always, especially in difficult times when temptation is strongest.
- Read the Scriptures. In Christ’s temptations, note that Satan tries to quote the scriptures. The blessing was, Jesus knew the scriptures himself very well. How many Catholics have left the faith because they did not know scriptures? The other denomination will just quote scripture and because of that, they leave the faith. Also, on the other hand, how many of us have been strengthened in times of difficulty because we know that God is faithful as mentioned in the scriptures and the teachings of the Church?
What cannot break us can only make us stronger….