by Rev Ed Montano
As we embark on our Lenten journey and reflect on the associated scripture regarding the temptation of Christ (Matthew 3:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13), we strive to connect these stories with our life today.
The temptations that Jesus experienced — instant gratification and power, taking the easy way out, are not dissimilar to temptations we may face today. But this year, there is a new temptation.
Due to the Covid restrictions, it is easy to feel a loss of control over our own lives. It’s easy to feel targeted, and even though we know that this affects (literally) everybody in the world, it is much too easy to feel that our control over our lives has been taken away. We hunger to regain that control. That is a real and great temptation, and one that we must resist ever so strongly.
As tempting as it may be to gather with just a few friends and family or to just take a short road trip, these activities could still have unwanted consequences. Rather than seeing the situation as a loss of control (in our personal and community lives), we must look at it as us being empowered to do our part to fight this pandemic.
Lent is a great time and opportunity to refocus our efforts and energies to engage in the spirituality of caring for the other. Caring for the elderly and vulnerable, for the immuno-compromised, for the sick, as well as supporting all frontline and essential workers. We do this by following the medical advice and preventing virus transmission.
This Lent, we can hear the Divine calling us to continue doing our part, not let our guard down, and not to fall into the temptation of thinking only of ourselves and our wants and desires to be social, to visit with friends and extended family, or to travel. Let this be a spiritual practice we can engage in over the next 40 days. May this be our prayer and fasting this Lent!