First Sunday of Lent, 2013
This text is a selection from Pope Benedict XVI's General Audience on Wednesday, February 13, 2013.
The desert, where Jesus withdrew to, is the place of silence, of poverty, where man is deprived of material support and is placed in front of the fundamental questions of life, where he is pushed towards the essentials in life. For this very reason it becomes easier for him to find God. But the desert is also a place of death, because where there is no water there is no life, and it is a place of solitude where man feels temptation more intensely. Jesus...takes on our temptations and carries our misery, to conquer evil and open up the path to God, the path of conversion.
What is the core of the three temptations that Jesus is subjected to? It is the proposal to exploit God, to use Him for his own interests, for his own glory and success. So, in essence, to put himself in the place of God, removing Him from his own existence and making him seem superfluous. Everyone should then ask: what is the role of God in my life? Is He the Lord, or am I? Overcoming the temptation to place God in submission to oneself and one's own interests or to put him in a corner, and converting oneself to the proper order of priorities, giving God the first place, is a journey that every Christian must undergo.
In this Lenten season, Christ once again knocks at our door (cf. Rev. 3:20) and invites us to open our minds and hearts to his love and truth. May Jesus' example of overcoming temptation inspire us to embrace God's will and to see all things in the light of his saving truth.