REFLECTION for March 7, 2014
What do I give up for Lent?
Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me." At this, Jesus said to him, "Get away, Satan!" (Matthew 4:8-10)
The temptations that Jesus faced were, at least in part, temptations to having control and power. It is as if Satan saves to Jesus, "If you want to control people, if you want power, do this!" After all, Satan thinks, everyone wants power, everyone wants control, everyone wants things "their way."
Jesus says, "Get out, Satan! You do not have a clue about who I am and what I want. I really am about service, not power; I am about compassion, not judgment; I am about giving of myself, not about getting for myself."
As we begin this Lenten season, can I give up "my agenda," "my way," "my needing to be in control?" This is far harder than anything else I might give up for Lent!
Can I follow the example of the one who emptied himself, so that I might be filled with the power and love of God? Can I say, like Jesus, "Father, into your hands I commend my life."