by Rev. Joseph Adhunga, A.J., Pastor at Holy Spirit & St. Mary Magdalen

Temptation is an inner desire to satisfy human ambition for power, sexual drive or material wealth. Temptation is an experience, which every human being struggles with and must be controlled at all times. This is the reason why we all have to learn from Our Lord Jesus how he went through his temptations and how we can overcome our own temptations. Learning from Jesus what helped him to overcome the temptations is obedience to his Father. The Gospel (Luke 4:1-13) describes the different types of temptations that Jesus encountered, which can affect any human being. Jesus remained obedient and faithful to his Father. Faithfulness is important in human’s struggles with temptations and obedience unites one with faith and love.

The first reading (Deuteronomy 26:4-10) presents the confession of faith and love of the Israelites. They remembered how the Lord, God brought them out of slavery to the promised land. Therefore, in obedience, they remained united with God even through different challenges in their lives.

The second reading (Rom 10: 8-13) presents the confession of faith of all believers in Christ.  Jesus is the obedient Son of God and he teaches us how to love, trust and to obey. During the lent we are expected to give up something to confirm our obedience to the Lord, and make us grow in love of God and neighbor. Therefore, let us reflect on the following virtues so that we can give up something practical which is beneficial during this Lenten period and makes united in faith and love:

Give up complaining – focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism – become an optimistic in life.
Give up harsh judgments – think kind thoughts.
Give up worry – trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement – be a person full of hope.
Give up bitterness – turn to forgiveness, love the reconciliation.
Give up hatred – return the good for evil.
Give up negativism – be positive in life.
Give up anger – be more patient.
Give up pettiness – become mature.
Give up being gloomy – enjoy the beauty that is all around you.
Give up jealousy – pray for trust.
Give up gossiping – Control your tongue.
Give up sin – turn to virtue.
Give up giving up – hang in there!

My dear community of St. Mary Magdalen and Holy Spirit parishes, let us all practice the above virtues and grow together as families, friends and a Church focusing on Easter Sunday. AMEN.