“It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Matthew 4:4

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Matthew 4: 1-11 

The temptations that Jesus experienced, much like the temptations we all experience, are self-centred. The evil spirit tries to get Jesus to turn in on himself. When the evil spirit tempts Jesus with bread, he tempts him with the very necessities of life. We need food to survive, of course, but we are sometimes still not happy once our basic needs are met. We want more and more.

The drive for possessions turns everyone and everything into a means to an end. People lose their value as individuals and become a commodity. We begin to choose friends and relationships for what we can get out of them. This temptation is about turning inwards and making our own needs and desires the most important thing in our lives. Jesus responds to the tempter by reminding us that there are more important things than possessions, that we are to depend on God rather than possessions. This dependence moves us beyond our own self-centeredness.

Lord God,

Help me today to choose you above possessions, power and privilege. May I thank you for your blessings and share them with my brothers and sisters.


Fr Bruce Botha SJ

Fr Bruce Botha SJ was born in Durban, KZN. He received a diploma in education from the University of Natal and then taught physical science for 4 years at Scottburgh High School. He joined the Society of Jesus and did his noviciate in Cape Town. He then studied philosophy in London and theology in Berkeley, California. Between philosophy and theology, in the period of formation known as regency, he worked as the director of counselling for an HIV research centre. After ordination in 2006 he worked in Holy Trinity, Braamfontein and is currently the parish priest of St Martin de Porres, Orlando West and Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation for the Archdiocese of Johannesburg.

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