Temptation: 1st Sunday of Lent

By Vicki Vicars, Mission, Equity & Resilience Dir.

The temptations that Jesus faces in this week’s gospel seem other worldly and certainly not something we would face in our daily life and work.  Stone into bread, protection from a dive off a steep point, worship the devil?  These are not our temptations.  Or are they?  

Gerald Darring, an adjunct instructor of theology at Spring Hill College, suggests that the temptations of Jesus represent for us the temptations of self-sufficiency, power, and pride.  We think we can do it alone, to the detriment of the community and not to include “the other.”

Have we used our position or authority to oppress others or to deny them access to what they need and deserve?  Have we ever looked down on someone thinking they are not good enough or not doing what they should?  Do we think that we are better than them?  Lots of questions to wrestle with this Lenten season.  The good news is that we do not wrestle alone or without wisdom shared by so many. 

Ursuline Sisters Mission to pour out Gospel service into the world invites us into a mission that conquers self-sufficiency with a call to community, reframes power with the values of servant leadership, and transforms pride into authentic self-recognition of our gifts needed to build the Beloved Kingdom.

St. Angela Merici’s instruction to “be like a piazza” invites us to be hospitable and welcoming. These are certainly qualities that seek to defeat any thought of superiority or total independence from others.  Yes, we have our own temptations and demons to wrestle with this season, but we are not alone in doing so. 

I pray that this season leads us to a greater understanding of who we are called to be in this world and to one another.