Friday, March 7, 2014
Our great temptation
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
March 9, 2014
The scene of "the temptations of Jesus" is a story we are not to interpret lightly. The temptations being described to us are not, properly speaking, moral ones. The story is warning us that we can ruin our lives if we deviate from the path Jesus follows.
The first temptation is crucial as it can pervert and corrupt our lives at the root. Apparently Jesus is offered something innocent and good -- putting God at the service of his hunger. "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread."
However Jesus reacts quickly and surprisingly: "One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God." He will not make his own bread an absolute. He will not put God at the service of his own interest, forgetting the Father's plan. He will always seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. He will listen to His Word at all times.
Our needs are not satisfied just by having our bread ensured. Human beings need and yearn for much more. And even to save those who don't have bread from hunger and misery, we must listen to God, our Father, and awaken the hunger for justice, compassion, and solidarity in our consciousness.
Our great temptation today is to change everything into bread. To reduce the horizon of our lives more and more to the mere satisfaction of our desires, making obsession with ever greater well-being and indiscriminate and limitless consumption almost the only ideals in our lives.
We're fooling ourselves if we think that is the path to follow towards progress and liberation. Aren't we seeing that a society that drags people towards endless consumption and self-satisfaction does nothing except generate emptiness and meaninglessness in people, and selfishness, lack of solidarity, and irresponsibility in our life together?
Why do we get the shivers when the number of people who commit suicide each day goes up dramatically? Why do we go on being closed in our false well-being, raising more and more inhumane barriers so that the hungry don't enter our countries, don't come to our homes or knock at our doors?
Jesus' call can help us be more aware that man does not live by the good life alone. Human beings also need to cultivate the spirit, know love and friendship, develop solidarity with those who are suffering, listen responsibly to their consciences, be open to the ultimate Mystery of life with hope.