Each person is tempted when lured and enticed by his desire.
What a perfect day to hear these words from St. James! Why today? Because it’s Mardi Gras. All over the world, revelers will recall that this is their last chance to eat, drink, and be merry before Lent begins. It’s the last day for a bit of self-indulgence before a season of self-denial. And so it’s good to hear James warn us not to let our desires get out of hand—any day of the year. It’s good to be reminded that temptation comes when the wrong kinds of desire are stirred up and fed. These desires can lead us to sin, and if we remain in sin, it can lead to death (James 1:15).
This sounds awfully grim, doesn’t it? Of course there’s nothing wrong with a little extra fun on Mardi Gras—especially if we stay within the bounds of moderation. But as we head into Lent, it’s good to be reminded how tricky and how deceitful our desires can be. We can want something so badly that we go to dangerous lengths to get it. Isn’t this what happened with King David and Bathsheba? He wanted her so much that he ended up committing adultery, deception, and murder just to get his way (2 Samuel 11).
Now, we know that not all of our desires are sinful. In fact, our deepest, most powerful desires are also our purest desires. We all long for the love, mercy, and joy that come from the Lord. We all yearn to taste his holiness, his purity, and his wisdom. We long for the day when all of our desires are purified so that we can receive “every perfect gift” that God has for us (James 1:17). And that’s exactly what Lent is all about.
Some people see Lent as a time of gloom and doom. They look on Ash Wednesday with a sense of dread. But that’s not how God sees Lent. He sees it as a season of grace and gift giving. He sees it as a time when our fallen desires can be healed and restored. He is a good and gracious Father, and he wants nothing more than to give us the best, the brightest, and the most satisfying gifts we can imagine.
“Jesus, you are my heart’s true desire!”
Psalm 94:12-15, 18-19
Any donation helps keep Life Site Ministries operating to reach out and Evangelize all of God's people & answering the call of the New Evangelization
"It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade." Mark 4: 31-32