Vatican

Pope at Angelus: Jesus shows us the remedies for temptations

On the First Sunday of
Lent, Pope Francis reflects on the day’s Gospel, which tells how Jesus was led
into the desert, where He was tempted by the devil

In his Angelus
address, Pope Francis said the three temptations Jesus faced “indicate three
paths that the world always proposes, promising great success”.

The greed of possession

After Jesus had
fasted for forty days, the devil tempted Him to turn stones to bread. This, the
Pope said, is “the path of the greed of possession”. The devil
always begins with our natural and legitimate needs, he explained, “in order to
push us to believe” that we can find fulfillment “without God, and even
contrary to Him”. Jesus, however, responds by quoting Scripture: “Man shall not
live by bread alone”.

The path of human glory

The second
temptation is “the prospect of becoming a powerful and glorious Messiah”, which
Pope Francis describes as “the path of human glory”. Bowing down
before the “idols of money, of success, of power” can corrupt us. This leads to
“the intoxication of an empty joy that soon fades away” – and this, the Pope
says, is why Jesus responds, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only
shall you serve”.

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Instrumentalizing God

Finally, the devil
leads Jesus to the pinnacle of the Temple in Jerusalem, and “invites Him to
cast Himself down” in order to demonstrate His divine power. Pope Francis calls
this the path of “instrumentalizing God for one’s own advantage”.
Jesus rejects the devil’s temptation, “with the firm decision to remain humble
and confident before the Father”. Once again, the Lord quotes Scripture: “You
shall not tempt the Lord your God”. In this way, the Pope said, Jesus “rejects
perhaps the most subtle temptation: wanting ‘to bring God over to our own
side’, by asking Him for graces that only serve to satisfy our own pride”.

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All these
temptations, the Pope said, are really “illusions” that promise “success and
happiness”, but in reality “are all completely foreign to God’s way of acting”.
In fact, he said, “they actually separate us from God, because they are the
work of Satan”.

Remedies for temptation

Jesus overcomes
these three temptations by personally facing them, “in order fully to adhere to
the Father’s plan”. In doing so, Pope Francis said, Jesus shows us the remedies
for temptations – namely, “the interior life, faith in God, the certainty of
His love.” With the certainty that God is Father, and that He loves us,
“we will overcome every temptation”.

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So, Pope Francis
said in conclusion, “let us take advantage of Lent, as a privileged time to
purify ourselves, in order to experience the consoling presence of God in our
life”.

Chikezie Ogbonna Administrator
Chikezie Ogbonna Onyenonuzochi is a passionate Journalist, Web Developer, Photographer, and a Film Maker. He is the editorial manager of The Choice Flame Newspaper and has deep passion for innovative story telling geared towards development at all level
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Chikezie Ogbonna Administrator
Chikezie Ogbonna Onyenonuzochi is a passionate Journalist, Web Developer, Photographer, and a Film Maker. He is the editorial manager of The Choice Flame Newspaper and has deep passion for innovative story telling geared towards development at all level
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