Dear Parishioners of St. James:
Praised be Jesus Christ!
The Church places the Gospel passage of the temptation of Jesus by the devil in the beginning of Lent to teach us many lessons. The Catechism states that temptation is “an attraction, either from outside oneself or from within, to act contrary to right reason and the commandments of God. Jesus himself during his life on earth was tempted, put to the test, to manifest both the opposition between himself and the devil and the triumph of his saving work over Satan” (CCC 538).
For us sinners (not for Jesus, Who is God in the flesh), we can be tempted from what is inside us. Our fallen nature is prone to sin, even particular sins. Some temptations reveal what is in us that needs strengthening. Temptation reveals our weakness so that we might know ourselves and discover our evil inclinations. Through prayer, self-denial, and filial trust, God will deliver us from that which may lead us into sin.
Temptation comes from the devil, also. God permits the devil to tempt us so that we might make a free decision to love God. In our assent to live by the Holy Spirit, the Father gives us strength (CCC, 2848). Jesus unites us to his battle and to his agony (CCC, 2849). God will give us sufficient grace to overcome every temptation and to emerge victorious. “Resist the devil and he will take flight” (Js. 4:7). Through Jesus and with Jesus and in Jesus we are victors over the evil one. Discern the trial or temptation, call upon Jesus to deliver you, and trust in His saving grace.
God bless you,