Temptations of Jesus
At the beginning of the season of Lent, the Church invites us to focus on the desert experience of Jesus. This entails his encounter with evil forces in the wilderness. Ostensibly, the focus is on the person of Jesus, who has just received public recognition by the Father of his mission on behalf of mankind. There we behold a powerful effort by worldly aspirations to turn Jesus away from the kind of Messiah that he is meant to be. Jesus decisively chooses the path of humility, simplicity and self-denial.
However, we can go further than that. In the temptations of Jesus, we recognize the kind of person that we are. The devil could not enter the core of Jesus' person. But there we see the stark reality of the human condition.
If we want to know the heart of man, we need to turn to the temptations of Jesus. The world is a cruel place, and no one is spared. We must not delude ourselves by maintaining that we are all good fellows. No, we are surely not. We need to know ourselves and the stuff of which we are made. It is because we do not know the heart of man that this world springs such surprises.
Daily astonishment at the revealing of the moral corruption in people's lives is a reality of life. We are often too courteous, too gentle, too accommodating, and too complacent. This world is not a pleasant place in which to live, and it is we who have made it so.
Greed in all aspects of life is all around us. There is the constant effort to satisfy human needs, even to flouting God's laws and at the expense of others. People will not be denied. Ruthless power and the search for glamour are the captivating forces of life. We all, in varying degrees, bear these inimical trends, and many of us find them most endearing.
The search for truth, righteousness and moral integrity is far to seek. Many people pledge themselves to promote these values. They get angry at anyone who dares to challenge their integrity. Yet, their conscience, like an article of clothing, permits them to put it on and off at will. The reality of moral corruption in this country is more astounding than we make it out to be.
Pope Francis has made a clear distinction between the Church for herself and the Church for the world. He has chosen to be the champion of the Church for the world, and has demonstrated this in no uncertain terms. His choice must be followed everywhere if his message is to make any impact on our society.
The Church in our midst must issue a powerful call to all to examine themselves and determine with sincerity the cause of the tension in our land. She must issue a strong warning that all parties must bear responsibility for the present crisis of trust or distrust that exists in Dominica. It will not do to evade the issue and treat it merely as a passing wind. No, it is not a passing wind. It may well be a gathering storm. But that is not all.
There are human activities in this country that are far more destructive, more alarming, than accusations of financial impropriety or the damage of property and street fires. These are merely an indication that all is not well in this country. But the destruction of person's lives, the manipulation of individuals, the moral corruption, the flagrant disregard for human dignity, are of far greater consequence than what is visible to everyone.
God reveals to us the temptations of Christ. He presents to us a model of what man should be. In the light of Christ's approach to human living, let us turn away from our self-destructive and corrupting ways and be the kind of persons that we are called to be.