In today's gospel, Jesus has just been baptized and instilled with the Holy Spirit of God. And our scripture tells us that he is led by that same Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by the devil. Its called a desert because it is deserted - it is a place where very little grows and very few live. It is a place where you are alone - with little to eat or to shelter you from the scorching heat.
God has planned for us something greater than we could ever imagine for ourselves. But like Jesus, we have to be willing to wait on God's plan, in God's time. But the evil that permeates this world would convince us that what we can gain through our own efforts in this place, at this time, is the goal we should aim for. That we should settle for something less than God's plan for our lives. The darkness that people talk about is what Satan uses to obscure God's plan by injecting his own end objectives - that of drawing us away from the love of God - away from the help of God's saving grace. Jesus is the light of the world - and he does shine out in the darkness - and in his light, Satan - evil – sin - call it what you will - cannot hide. After all we can't see heaven, we can't prove its existence. It's a matter of faith.
to keep the extra change the clerk gives usto fudge on our taxes
to tell a small untruth that might help us get ahead at work
to listen or pass on gossip about a neighbor or co-worker
to cut off that driver who’s trying to get ahead of the line
to glance at your neighbor's paper when you don't know the
answer to that test question.
And even though we are led into temptation - please remember that temptation itself is not sin. Sin (or evil) comes when we succumb to that temptation - when we choose to act less than Godly in any given situation.
Let us pray: Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ our Lord who overcame temptation, and died and rose again that we might have life eternal. Amen.