Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, at the end of which we are told by Luke he is famished. It is then his adversary challenges Jesus to put himself forward as greater than God. It was when Jesus was weak, hungry, probably longing for human companionship that his adversary came forward to try to alter the direction of Jesus' path. We are told at the end of today's lectionary selection that this adversary departed from him until an opportune time. Jesus defeated him that day, but that doesn't mean his adversary disappeared for all time. The same is true today, for us.
When we are at our weakest, when we are hurt or lonely, hungry or depressed, this is when our lesser selves can make decisions or we can take actions that we later regret. This occurs when we listen to our lesser selves, some base emotion or drive that diminishes the light that is our better selves. We are all human and we all make mistakes, but those mistakes don't have to define us, they don't have to make us into something lesser than we truly are. We shouldn't allow ourselves to wallow in our mistakes. Instead we need to recognize them for what they were, understand how we got to the place where we could make that mistake, and then put it aside, moving to and listening to our better selves. We will be a beacon of hope and love to ourselves and to others then.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.