The gospel with which we inaugurate the precious time of Lent presents us with two types of humanity: one educated by heavens, the other by the devil. There is no middle ground between these two anthropologies. Satan draws a man who, being the Christ, demands from God the power to change the nature of things (transform stones into bread); He is a man who draws satisfaction from changing things because he cannot accept them the way they are. You can read here the excellent reality of the development, a reality that is good in itself, but which can become the self-delusion of a humanity that is changing everything. And we let it happen. Stones are stones, nature is nature, but we transform them into edible things. We are abusing reality.
This man cannot but be read in a negative way. But if one goes astray, he falls into the trap of the devil. He is a wonderful man: he has power, he changes things, eliminates problems, makes everything become beneficial. He is a man who has power over all the kingdoms on earth. He does not merely use it according to his wishes, but possesses it. That is, he is a man who chases, wants, and looks for the dream of his supremacy. Many parents teach their children to become masters, to exercise the possession of things instead of charity, donation, and oblation. At the center there is the affirmation of our ego. “Things are mine, I have to have this.”
He is a “spectacular” man: success, affirmation, style. We raise children telling them that they must assert themselves, that they have to be absolutely fantastic, beautiful, and remarkable. They have to be satisfied by everything, they must possess everything and have to be looked at by everyone. This way we ruin our life and relationships. But the Gospel offers us another man, who is not submissive. He is much more serious, noble and strong. The first sentence he says is “not only with bread”: he was offered too little. There is much more than simply feeding ourselves. A relationship with God. Bread is only the sign. Living on the Word of God, living a relationship with Him is much more than the satisfaction of the things of this world.
This man unveils deception: to possess everything, you must bow. It is necessary because no one owns anything if he does not pay. But he wins against Jesus presenting like the new Adam: “There is only one entity I bow to. Power and success cannot break my dignity. “On this earth there are thieves, rust, and termites. All the things we possess are lost, and in any case will be lost. You cannot lose God. To what do I devote myself? On what do I spend my life? To an inalienable possession, our relationship with God. “You shall serve only Him.” These words imply prostration, but also intimacy, worship, and kissing.
We do not need the spectacular. When I need to be seen by the others, it means that I do not know who I am. I ask from the others the right to exist. No need to get in antagonism with God. It is about entering a docile relationship with Him. In secret, He can give much more than man can offer in showmanship. A man who is not a slave of the goods of this earth, who has a relationship with God, is a wonderful man. This is the man towards whom this Lent is walking.