I bought a birthday card. Text read, “Two ducks walk into a bar” and an image of two ducks hitting their heads on a metal bar stopping them in their tracks. Silly.
Lent is a season giving us pause. It can be a time when we remember the goodness we are – full stop. De La Salle said as much in a reflection to his brothers reminding them that they are good and that temptation to believe otherwise confirms it. He wrote, “Be convinced that it is a great misfortune not to experience any temptation, because this is a sign that you do not overcome yourself in any way, and you allow yourself to be easily conquered by your passions”. Not to be tempted means we have already given in to everything that has come our way and forgetting our goodness.
Satan tells Jesus to jump off the high point of the temple. He says, “You are so wonderful you can even walk on air”. A sort of Thelma and Louise moment for Jesus. He gets to the edge, looks down, and acknowledges he is God after all so why not step off the parapet – that highest point on the temple. He pauses and remembers who he is, tells Satan to back off, and steps back. Like most of us, he doesn’t hit his head on a metal bar (though sometimes it helps), but he remembers his goodness and he doesn’t have to prove anything and steps back.
So as we move through Lent, can we remember that we are good enough? Can we recognize we don’t have to walk on air or choose temptations that come our way? Can we believe, as De La Salle that temptations tell us we are on the right track and step back from the need to prove ourselves and be the good shepherd we know ourselves to be?