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An Undivided Heart

We hear this Sunday about Jesus’ time in the wilderness. He is hungry and he is tested. Jesus is tested to see if he is half-hearted in serving God the Father or to see if he is totally committed. Although Jesus was tempted and suffered greatly we can see that his heart was undivided and that he followed the Father’s will to the end, to death on the cross.

Temptation in one form or another is an unavoidable part of life. If we honestly examine our daily experience, we can find many aspects of temptation: impulses or tendencies that run counter to the right way of doing things. We can see temptation as a struggle between sin and grace, selfishness and holiness. Our time on earth will be successful in how much we put aside sin and try to live by the grace of God. This Sunday’s readings show two contrasting reactions to temptation. The first humans, Adam and Eve, are imagined as preferring their own wills to the will of God. Jesus, the Saviour, on the contrary resisted temptation, and remained faithful to what God the Father required of him. As we enter Lent we may ask ourselves how we face temptations. When times get rough do we still trust in God? Are we willing to risk our necks for the sake of the gospel, or do we settle for comfort and security? These are not easy questions. That is why we need forty days of Lent to reflect and pray. We pray that at Easter our hearts will be less divided.

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