The 1st Sunday of Lent always has Jesus in the desert being tempted by the devil.
Today's version is from Luke 4:1-13.
In our 'Lectio Divina' yesterday with the community, I was struck by the words, 'as Scripture says'. Jesus alone and vulnerable rebukes the devil by quoting Scripture. 'Man does not live by bread alone' and 'You must worship the Lord your God, and serve him alone.'
For Jesus a great source and solace of his prayer was the Scriptures and in the third temptation it is the devil that quotes Scripture back at Jesus. 'He will put his angels in charge of you to guard you...' How cunning and deceitful! The devil tempts Jesus by abusing the very thing that Jesus is comforted and sustained by.
Reflecting on the Scripture today reminds me of the importance of treating people with sensitivity, respect and dignity. How often is manipulation used to win people over to a certain way of thinking and acting? Tapping into people's fears and vulnerabilities and disguising an evil intention by using something good to trap them and lead them down a dead and destructive path.
Is this what's at play on many social media platforms? Safety, security and freedom are all good things but we have to ask ourselves at who's expense and what is it doing to our mental health?
What is unfolding in Europe at present and the horrors of war seems to be orchestrated by the manipulation and control of one man and his inner circle. I don't profess to be a political expert and I know war has more than one cause but there is something here I believe.
Our World needs Christ and we need Christ. He faced the enemy and the lure of pleasure, greed, wealth and power and shows us a very different way of acting. His way of self-giving and sacrifice leads to life.
That life is demonstrated by the welcome, food and accommodation ordinary people are offering the hundreds of thousand refugees fleeing their homeland and what people are prepared to do in the face of aggression.
I thought 'You raise me up' would be a pertinent song for us this week. Blessings everyone.