At this, Jesus said to him,
“Get away, Satan!
It is written:
“The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.”
All of Sunday’s readings tell us about sin. God gave them Paradise, but Adam and Eve fell into pride and turned away from God. In the Gospel, Satan tempts Jesus in the desert, appealing to pride and power, but Jesus answers that we must serve God alone.
At all times, serving God must be our focus. I am reading Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life by Elizabeth Scalia. She really helps us see what we really worship in our lives. It’s a useful and easy read and, to be honest, I’m not up to anything heavy right now. This seems to fit the bill and will perhaps lead to something more profound as Lent progresses. Not to diminish it though, because Scalia makes some important observations that definitely give one pause, and I am looking forward to reading more.
People like to sin. Let’s face it. Our conscience tells us one thing, but we still choose to sin sometimes. It’s easy, attractive, tempting… but everything it offers comes with a price. Everything and everyone but God eventually disappoints. The promises of power, wealth, or fame, cannot fill the place that is meant for God.
This means that in our everyday lives, we should be attuned to God’s will for us and allow Him to work through us, bringing mercy and kindness and charity with us wherever we go. We must have integrity in our lives. The person we are at church, at work, at home, in the supermarket, in traffic, online… should be one and the same.
Power, wealth or fame may still come to us, but we should see them as blessings, as opportunities God has given us to bring Him to others, not solely as our personal achievements. We must not lose sight of our true purpose in this life. We were created to love and be loved by God, as we see in the first reading from Genesis, and that is where we will find our happiness. If we allow ourselves to be distracted by the things of the world, we will never find fulfillment no matter how hard we try.