Chat with the devil
In today’s episode of the 3 temptations of Jesus, we see the chat between Jesus and the Devil. We chat [speak] with God in prayer. Sometimes, situations we encounter will also similarly lead us to chat with the devil as Jesus did. Our chat should not be that of a soothing or a pleasing tone, rather our chat should be an affirmation of the Love GOD has anchored within our hearts. It is a definitive Love. This means if we have allowed GOD to anchor within us, we will have no hesitation in spontaneously denouncing or rejecting the devil.
As Christians, all of us by now, no doubt know a lot about Jesus through the canonical Gospels we have heard read during Mass of the various deeds Jesus performed. Still, it is also necessary that we know about the devil. Why? How else would we know what is good, if we have not experienced what is bad? Because in life we face both God and the devil. If we do not know who the devil is, how could we know who GOD is? If we observe carefully, it is just prior to the beginning of Jesus’s goodwill ministry, that He is led away by the Spirit into the wilderness. What does this tell us? It tells us, that in order to know GOD better, it is essentially important to know who the devil is and how he works and can trick us through his works. Then, more certainly we can be aware of how he could use our ignorance or innocence to trap us. Or to put it another way, it would help us to fortify ourselves against the craftiness of the devil, to better position ourselves to resist his empty works and temptations. Failure to do this would only end up in our own destruction.
The strategy Jesus followed is simple. He allowed GOD to remain within him as His anchor right through. This enabled Jesus to remain strong not only in the midst of temptation, when He was physically exhausted of his human strength after fasting for 40 days. During this entire time, this is how Jesus survived. Jesus continually remained within GOD’s Salvific Grace, from where He received Divine Strength to endure the discomfort His physical body experienced.
Thus, the church encourages us to personal fasting and prayer during this 40-day period of Lent to better prepare ourselves as Christians to enable us to better understand and encounter the mystery of His Resurrection.
This fortification Jesus Receives of the Spirit enables Him to rebuke the devil easily. That is why in all His 3 replies to the devil His response without any ambiguity is clear and concise. It no longer is the person Jesus who spoke, instead His Father’s Spirit who was rebuking the devil, and at other times later on we see His marvellous deeds.
Therefore, during this 40-days of Grace the church has enabled us with the opportunity to fortify ourselves with the same Spirit of GOD, Jesus entrusted himself to. Let us also similarly give ear to his invitation to prepare ourselves to adore GOD more meaningfully.
Fortified with the Spirit of GOD, Jesus always quoted Scripture in all his 3 replies to the devil. As Jesus our Lord and Master did, be kind to your own heart first, by cultivating the habit to cherish and nurture the bible more, to allow our hearts to be rooted with the Heart of JESUS.
Fr. Ranjit Ekka OFM Cap