Saturday of the Second Week of Lent
“He said in reply, ‘It is written: ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’’” This was Jesus’ response to satan when tempted to turn stones into bread to satiate His physical hunger. Though it is a rejection of satan’s foolish attempt, it goes much further than a rejection. It also identifies the mission we all have in life.
The “word that comes forth from the mouth of God” is the Word of God. Jesus is that Eternal Word. Because Jesus’ endurance of the desert was a sacrificial act of love for us, then what He speaks here is especially for us as we endure our temptations in life. Jesus is saying to us: Do not live for that which is passing, but live for that which is eternal. What is eternal is all that He revealed and gave to us as the Eternal Word.
Jesus, the Eternal Word, is Eternal Truth. All that we need to know, understand, believe, and live by is found in the very Person of Jesus. He is the full revelation of the Father in Heaven and the full revelation of what it means to be human.
When satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into food to satiate His hunger, Jesus did what we all must do. He is the model and the Way to perfection. Therefore, when the evil one tempts us, our response must be Jesus’ response. We must choose to live by “every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Practically speaking, this means we must sort through temptations, lies, desires, and impulses by using the Word of Truth as our prism, elevating our minds to Christ, uniting our wills to His, and dismissing the disordered temptation inflicted upon us. Essentially, two voices speak to us all the time. There is the distorted and confusing voice of the evil one, influencing our fallen human nature, and the supernatural voice of our Lord, calling us to a new height of supernatural living. The more we live by God’s voice, the more we understand what He says, the easier it will be to reject temptation.
The gateway to the Word of God is what is found in Scripture. By prayerfully pondering the Scriptures, especially the Gospels, we come to know the Living Word of God. We come to know the Voice of God, the Wisdom of God, the Truth Himself. This must become a daily exercise by which we become more and more familiar with the Eternal Word as God guides every decision we make in life.
Ponder your soul and ask yourself which voice you listen to more often. Do you allow the distortions of the evil one to tempt you toward selfish indulgences, or do you keep focused on the pure and holy Word of the Lord? Are your daily decisions based upon that which gives you instant gratification? Or are your daily decisions based on the example of sacrificial love and selflessness lived and taught by Jesus? Learn to live by “every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” Learn to live by the Wisdom of the Eternal Word. Get to know Him through your prayerful reading of the Scriptures every day and by listening to His voice within the depths of your soul.
Jesus, Eternal Word of the Father, You and You alone must be my guide in life. I pray that I will hear Your voice as You speak to me Your eternal wisdom and Truth. Please free my mind from the many lies and temptations of the evil one so that I will be free to follow You with all my heart. Jesus, I trust in You.