Today’s Gospel reading from Luke 4 begins; “Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.” The key phrase for me throughout this entire scripture passage is “filled with the Holy Spirit.”
To combat temptation, like Jesus, I am finding out that the Holy Spirit is my answer. Jesus, hungry after not eating for 40 days is face to face with the Father of lies. Here is the synopsis of their conversation;
Satan: “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
Jesus: “It is written, One does not live on bread alone.”
Satan: “I shall give to you all this power and glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me.”
Jesus: “It is written: You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.”
Satan: “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you, and: With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
Jesus: “It also says, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
In being tempted, all of the replies of Jesus were from scripture. Knowing the Word of God seems like a pretty good way to fight off the temptation of sin. I have been a musician all of my adult life. I was blessed to play Mass on Saturday night and again today on Sunday. But there were times in my musical life, where temptations were great to give in to sin. The consequences of my bad decisions that Jesus permitted with his gift of my free will, affect me greatly today. I now hate sin and want nothing to do with it, not because of the consequences, but because it offends my Lord.
Today, I sing, I finish Mass, I am filled with the Eucharist, I am living in the power of the Holy Spirit, I have no groupies, I feel no temptations and I am with my family in Christ. Then, I walk out the church doors. Come Holy Spirit!