The season of Lent has many similarities to the events recorded in the book of Exodus. The People of Israel were freed from their slavery to the Egyptians, but were then subjected to numerous temptations and trials for 40 years in the desert.
They were repeatedly tempted to look back towards Egypt, desiring the comforts they had, despite their oppression.
Pope Benedict XVI recalled these events during an Angelus message in 2006, pointing to how they were able to overcome the temptations they experienced.
During that long journey, the Jews experienced the full force and persistence of the tempter, who urged them to lose trust in the Lord and to turn back; but at the same time, thanks to Moses’ mediation, they learned to listen to God’s voice calling them to become his holy People.
All of us will experience similar temptations during Lent, looking back over our shoulder at the life we once led.
However, the key is to trust in God and embrace the life of freedom that he offers to us, as Benedict XVI explains.
In meditating on this biblical passage, we understand that to live life to the full in freedom we must overcome the test that this freedom entails, that is, temptation. Only if he is freed from the slavery of falsehood and sin can the human person, through the obedience of faith that opens him to the truth, find the full meaning of his life and attain peace, love and joy.
Whatever temptations we may experience in Lent and beyond, may we keep our eyes on Christ and continue forward to the Promised Land of Eternal Life that awaits us at the end of our lives.