Welcome to the season of Lent which began with Ash Wednesday. Welcome to the season of repentance, conversion and spiritual change. As we have begun this Lenten season, we are presented with two stories on temptation and sin.

As we heard in the first reading from the Book of Genesis, Chapter 2, verses 7 to 9 and Chapter 3, verses 1 to 7, Adam and Eve were tempted and they fell into sin, but Jesus as we heard from the gospel of Saint Matthew, Chapter 4, from verse 1 to 11, was also tempted be Satan to rebel against God, and He refused to do so. Remember my dear friends, sin is a refusal to love and obey God. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sin is defined is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience. It is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It is an offense against God. It rises up against God in a disobedience contrary to the obedience of Christ. Sin is an act contrary to reason. It wounds man's nature and injures human solidarity. Also, we are taught and reminded by the Catechism of the Catholic Church in Paragraph 2847, that the Holy Spirit makes us discern between trials, which are necessary for the growth of the inner man, and temptation, which leads to sin and death. This means that we will be tempted by Satan, and if we are victorious, we will grow in our spiritual life, but if we fail, then we fall into sin and death. So, we as God’s children are called to discern between being tempted and consenting to temptation.

Saint Paul in his letter to the Romans, Chapter 5, verse 12 to 19, today’s second reading, reminds us that “just as through one transgression, condemnation came upon all, so, through one righteous act, acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so, through the obedience of the one, the many will be made righteous. Hence, Where sin increased, there God’s grace increased all the more.

So why did Adam and Eve fall when they were tempted by the serpent and Jesus did not? We might say it was because Jesus is the Son of God. Yes, that is true, but there are others reasons why Jesus did not fall into sin when tempted by Satan and Adam and Eve did. These other reasons are as follows:

  1. Jesus was able to withstand Satan’s temptation because of his Knowledge of God, His Father. Jesus knew his Father well - what He was all about and His teachings, while Adam and Eve did not know much about God their Maker and Creator.
  2. Adam and Eve could not withstand the Serpent’s temptation and Jesus was able to overcome it because, they (Adam and Eve) refused to Believe and Accept God’s words or teachings or instructions. Jesus obeyed His Father’s words and even confronted Satan with them, but Adam and Eve refused to obey God and obeyed the Serpent instead.
  3. Jesus was able to withstand Satan’s temptation because He put into practice or lived out the word of His Father, but Adam and Eve on the other hand, did not practice or live out the instructions given them by God.

So my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, if we truly and sincerely want to change our lives this Lenten Season, and fight the temptation that come our way, we have to learn and know more about God by reading the Scripture and others spiritual texts and listening to His word proclaimed to us. Secondly, we have to believe and accept God’s words or teachings or instructions given us by the Catholic Church. And lastly, we have to put into practice or live out the word of God we have heard, accepted and believe in.