Jesus is the Son of God, and he is also truly human. He experiences everything that we do – even the temptation to sin. After a long time of fasting in the desert, Jesus feels hungry, just as we would. It’s tempting to use his miraculous powers to conjure up food for himself. As he looks ahead to his ministry, he must realise that it will be a hard road – so it’s tempting to take the easy way out, and win the people over by a spectacular demonstration of his power. Or to give in to the powers of the world, and become a worldly leader.
Adam and Eve are deceived by the lies of the devil. Their story symbolises the way that we can be taken in by the superficial attraction of sin. We choose what seems immediately tempting, instead of what is truly good. One sin leads to another, until it seems impossible to find the way back to truth and integrity.
Jesus stands firm in the face of the devil’s temptations. To sin would be to go against his complete love and trust for his Father. He shows us the way to choose truth instead of lies, and what is truly good instead of what is only superficial. Our Lenten penance should help us to stand firm, and make the right choices in our lives.