(First Sunday Reflection: Lk. 4:1-13; Cycle C, Year 2)
In one of my Ignatian retreats, the facilitator handed me a guide on which the theme was devoted solely on to The Two Banners: The Banner of Christ and the Banner of Satan. This exercise led me into self-introspection as I go through the process of recollecting the year that had passed. What were my choices, my decisions was I standing under the banner of Christ or of the other.
Today’s gospel reading brings us back to the reality of the presence of Satan, in our world, in our life and even in the life of Jesus Christ. The modern man seems to be skeptic on the reality of evil in our life; it seems though, that Satan has become an icon, you can see all over from t-shirts to caps, tattoos to signboards, images to arts, word-expressions to music, and one can name more. The loathing of merely his “icons” becomes fondness, the young perceives it as cool or groovy, and thus its harmful presence turns out to be harmless. The gospel may give the impression as well, because Satan was even offering Jesus, the goods that our human nature would eagerly say “Yes!” at any cost. Hunger must be addressed with abundance. Vulnerability can be turned into power and doubt which is just a couple away from discovery.
In any case, still, the devil ¹“is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” and it causes not only harm to our self but damage to our true identity as a child of God and in our relationship with God, and it is for this reason that we must ¹“resist him, solid in your faith.” Ultimately, our concern is not how to defeat Satan and all his enticements rather the aim is to make choices and decisions which affirm our truest identity and where it leads us to God.
Our temptations and sins are basically pointers to us, it tells us who are we and what we are not. It is in these occasions where our fundamental option in life is challenged, strengthened and deepened as it matures with the choices and decisions we make in life.
There is only one option – God, but there are two banners erected.
What banner in life do you stand by?
1 – 1 Peter 5:8 – New American Bible
(Yes is Also No: The Power of Choice-Tamara McCleary – google images)