The Wilderness of Temptations

by Claire Antoinnette S. Evangelista, age 10

Who will not be tempted to eat during the day of fasting? I was 7 years old when I first observed the Day of Atonement. I was able to endure hunger the first two meals that passed, but during lunch time, my stomach was complaining of hunger that I really wanted to eat but my grandma encouraged me not to eat, that God would be happy if I will continue to observe God’s Holy Day, and I did!

Our Lord Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days. That time, Satan saw Him totally weak! He laughed quietly because His once Almighty enemy is so weak. He could easily win this time. In a flash, he appeared before Jesus in his brightest form. He immediately said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, change this stones to bread.” The first strategy of Satan in tempting Jesus was by appetite. He knew that Jesus will do Satan’s command but he was wrong! Jesus said to him it is written: Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from His mouth (Deut. 8:3).

Satan turned away to hide his angry form from Jesus. Satan is now ready for another test for Jesus. This time his second strategy was presumption. With the wave of his powerful arm he transported Jesus to the top of the temple and said to Him, “If You be the Son of God, cast Yourself down for it is written He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You in their hands for they protect You from even hurting stones in Your feet (Ps. 91:11-12). Jesus recognized quickly this temptation just as quickly as He recognized the first one! Jumping off the cliff as if to dare God the Father to catch Him would be a terrible sin. Jesus said to Satan, “Do not tempt the Lord your God (Deut. 6:16).

The Devil losing again, he wanted Jesus to see him as a powerful mighty being. This time his third strategy was wealth. Another wave of his arm, he and Jesus were on the peak of a very high mountain. Satan showed Jesus all the nations of the world with their riches and glory. “These will all be yours,” he whispered in his very convincing tone. “Just kneel down and worship me. The world belongs to me by right, I will give it all to You.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get out of here Satan! You must worship the Lord your God and serve Him only (Deut. 1:13, 10:20).

Claire is a member of the youth of UCG-Manila and is one of the granddaughters of Cora Evangelista (who has been in the Church since 1965).