But at the end of his fasting, the devil comes and tries to tempt Jesus three times, he explained.
According to the pope, “even today Satan bursts into people’s lives to tempt them with his enticing proposals.”
“Messages come from many directions inviting [us] ‘to be tempted’ to experience the thrill of transgression,” he stated.
He explained that temptation tries to propose alternatives to God’s way, suggesting there is no problem, that God will forgive us, or that something is not a sin.
These give the feeling of self-sufficiency, that the purpose of life is its enjoyment, Francis said.
“But all this is illusory: soon we realize that the more we distance ourselves from God, the more we feel defenseless and helpless in the face of the great problems of existence.”
Pope Francis prayed that the Virgin Mary, who crushed the head of the serpent, will help everyone during Lent to “be vigilant in the face of temptations, not to submit to any idol of this world, to follow Jesus in the fight against evil.”
After praying the Angelus, the pope asked especially for prayers for the many immigrants seeking safety from war.
“I am a little saddened by the news that many displaced people arrive, many men, women, children driven away because of the war, many migrants who seek refuge in the world, and help,” he said.
“These days, it has become very strong. Let us pray for them.”
He also asked for prayers for the members of the Roman Curia who will make their annual retreat in Ariccia March 1-6.
Pope Francis, who has had a cold for several days, said he will not be joining them this year as planned, but will follow the meditations from home at the Vatican.
(Story cotinues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.