This story need not be taken literally. Who was present, for example, to record the dialogue between Jesus and the devil. It is likely that Jesus did go into the desert to fast and pray before he began his public life and surely he had to agonize back and forth on the mission he would soon begin.
He must have sensed that he would make a lot of enemies, Romans and Jews alike, and that, like many other prophets, he would have to pay with his life. He resisted the temptation, but he was tempted (and he must have confided this fact to others).
So too we will be often tempted
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time there was a young woman of about nine summers named Gwendolyn or Gwenny for short. She was a very devout and religious young woman. So when her parents told her that Catholics gave up things for Lent and that her mother was giving up bad language and her was giving up martinis, she decided that she would give up ice cream which she dearly loved. WELL, even though she was severely tempted every time she went by the ice scream store, she stuck to her promise Ė and counted the days to Holy Saturday when she could start in again on her ice cream. Now the ice cream she loved most dearly were chocolate covered chocolate dove bars.
As Holy Week started she kept a close eye on the freeze in the kitchen fridge. Surely her Mommy would lay in a supply of Dove bars for Holy Saturday. But Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the freezer was bare, at least of Dove bars. Then when her mommy came home from the store on Good Friday, she piled all sorts of goodies into the fridge. Gwenny waited till her mommy went upstairs and very quietly sneaked into the kitchen, climbed on the chair and opened the door to the freezer. She almost collapsed. Right in the front of the freezer were a half dozen dove bars. She closed the door so quickly that she almost fell off the chair. He ran off to the TV room with visions of chocolate ice cream dancing in her head. Three more times during the afternoon. She returned to the freezer, twice she climbed up on the chair, once she even removed the dove bar and smelled it. Then she quickly ran back to her room and cried. Why are you crying, Gwenny dear, her mother asked. Because I broke my promise to Jesus. I wanted to eat it, but I didnít. If you didnít you didnít break your promise. That was only a temptation. Temptations are not bad unless you give into them. Why are there temptations? Her mother by quoting a poet,
ďWhy else do temptations come save that humans may meet them, master them, and still be pedestal-ed in glory."
Oh said Gwenny.
Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.