It is very Vital to understand about Temptation and where/how it comes
Osuofia was very addicted to alcohol to the extent that he was always found drinking alcohol at very moment and at every place. Drinking had become his second nature. Even his movement, manner of talking and ways of doing things had been affected greatly.
This marriage between Osuofia and alcohol was a public one known by all. To employ the words of the new generation pastors, one could rightly say that Osuofia is possessed by the spirit of alcohol.
It was on a Ash-Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, Osuofia staggered to the Church to receive his own ashes as he was a baptized Catholic. It was already after the mass, the priest was still at the sacristy.
When Osuofia came to the priest requesting to receive his own ashes, the priest seized the opportunity to advise him on the need to work against his bad habit by abstaining from taking any alcoholic drink throughout the period of Lent.
Osuofia embraced the admonition of the priest and made up his mind to take up the challenge: no drinking of alcoholic drink for forty days. As he was returning to his home, he was receiving invitation from his friends on the way to come and drink with them. It was unusual for him at that moment, and very tempting.
For some time, many of these friends had vowed never to invite him again to drink because they felt he was embarrasing them publicly. “Why now?” he thought as walked along. The temptation was indeed very difficult but Osuofia resisted them to the utmost dismay of all. Osuofia changed over night.
The villagers were marvelled by this sudden change from a known public figure like Osuofia. No one ever believed that Osuofia would resist alcohol in his life. Many occasions and ceremonies were taking place here and there which were very rare before, but Osuofia remained firm in his resolution.
Just few days to the end of the period of Lent, precisely on Palm Sunday, a well known rich man from the village, went for a thanksgiving Mass and he invited people to his residence for merriment. Osuofia went for the occasion.
He sat down quietly watching people drinking and enjoying themselves. There were many assorted food and drinks ranging from different brands. The sight was difficult for Osuofia to resist. He fought within himself, but felt tempted beyond his capacity and gave in instantly, and drank like never before. That day he was carried home by few of his friends. Osuofia ended up going back to square one. What a pity!!!
On this first Sunday of Lent child of God, I invite you to reflect with me on the Message: “Where does your Temptation comes from?” The temptation of Jesus as related by Mark in today’s gospel is our temptation as we journey on Earth towards our eternal Home. Nothing changes, the same temptation but in different forms.
Mark does not give us the details unlike the other Synoptics but the content still remain the same. In other gospels Mathew, Luke and John, we can see detailed presentation of that episode.
Jesus was tempted trice and he prevailed over the devil. He was tempted on:
✓ Egosim (Power)
✓ Materialism( Riches)
John the evangelist in his Epistles succinctly called these temptations in the world as ;
a. Lust of Eyes
b. Lust of Body
c. The Pride of Life(I Jn. 2:16)
N/B. These are the areas child of God is being tempted by the devil in our everyday life.
A. Hedonism (An Easy way out of the supposed pain and suffering). Temptation in this way comes in the sense of pleasure which is the “Lust of Body”(Here we are tempted to care for the body more than our soul and spirit)
When Jesus was tempted to turn stones into bread He replied; “Man shall not live by bread alone(Cf. Matt. 4:4, Deut. 8:3). Alot of Christians are falling everyday to this temptation.
B. Egosim(Pride of life-Power). Anything that leads to arrogance, boast and sensitation. John the Evangelist says; “if anyone loves the world, then the love of the father is not in him (cf. I Jn. 2:15)
It was the first son committed by our first parents. They wanted to be like God(Cf. Gen. 3:5-6).
C. Materialism( Lust of Eyes- Riches). The devil asked Jesus to bow to him and he will give Him the whole world. Child of God if you where in Jesus’ be sincere what would be your response? Bearing in mind that the devil tempts us not with his real identity but through a supposed destiny helper or sponsor in life. Jesus quickly responded by scolding the hell out of diabolos, satana, Ekwe ya su; “Away from me, for it is written you shall worship the Lord your God” replied Jesus(Cf. Matt. 4:10).
Here, we are meant to believe that all we need in life to be happy is to acquire Wealth, fame and become earthly Celebrities. We have fallen into these temptations bothering on “Fame, Popularity, Power, Pomposity and Lust for Money and Riches”.
To acquire Wealth is not an evil but the insatiable desire and lust for it over and above your love for God is dangerous and catastrophic.
Today Jesus calls us to REPENTANCE in today’s gospel. Repentance would start from having a rethink from every attitude of Hedonism, Egosim and Materialism In which we have been imprisoned for years and decades. Lenten season is another opportunity presented by the Church wish to help her children take giant and bold steps at redeeming their relationship with the Lord. I ask again “WHERE DOES YOUR TEMPTATION COKES FROM? WHAT TEMPTS YOU?, AND WHO TEMPTS YOU? Blessings to you and your family on this special sunday+.
Remember to pray your ROSARY EVERYDAY it is Powerful. “A CHRISTIAN IS NOT AN ORDINARY PERSON AND THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN IS A LIFE OF WARFARE”.
Gen. 9:8-15, Ps. 25:2-9, I Pet. 3:18-22, Mk. 1:12-15
Fr. Emmanuel Uzoh(Nwachinaemere)
Peace be with you.