Good Friday retreat: Lenten temptation
Before we talk about the Good Friday temptation,
let’s talk about a basic Lenten temptation.
The trouble with Lent is that we’ve heard it all before –
we already know how it all pans out.
So the danger is we end up
with a “Been there, done that!” attitude.
But what’s important is not so much “going through Lent”
(again for the nth time!)
but “letting Lent go through us” –
allowing its mysteries to penetrate us
and our being ever more deeply,
and giving them permission to transform us.
Let this be our goal today:
To open our hearts
to let the familiar, but ever rich mysteries of Lent
go through us in order to transform us.
The Good Friday temptation
Today we enter into the mysteries of Good Friday
through our Lord’s second desert temptation.
our Lord rejected the devil’s suggestion
that he fling himself down from the temple tower
to call his angels to rescue him.
It’s actually not such a bad idea when you think about it:
An impromptu synchronized flying of angels
would enable him to defy gravity
and win him every believer he desired!
No more sermons on the mount or the plain!
Perhaps no more exorcisms or healing miracles
or multiplication of loaves and fish!
Why, he would be declared messiah and king
right there and then!
But our Lord turned it down.
By not going through this shortcut
and putting up such a public circus,
Jesus showed that he was no slave
to the human need for social approval and affirmation.
How about you?
How attached are you
to social approval
How much do they affect – and rule –
your decisions and actions?
Fresco of Temptation of Jesus via Shutterstock/Renata Sedmakova
Jesus and angel image via Shutterstock