Next weekend, we will hear of the beginning of Jesus’ mission. Jesus’ desert experience raises important questions for all of us, including me. What are some of the “desert” experiences I have experienced in my life? What desert experience am I living through right now? When and how do I find moments of contemplation in the midst of a busy life? How have I lived in the midst of my own desert wilderness? Have I been courageous and persistent in fighting with the demons? How have I resisted transforming my own deserts into places of abundant life?
My time of illness now is like Jesus’ time to the desert. Throughout this time, He’s taught me to step back. To let Him take control. To let go of my pride and say yes and no more often. To take more time for Him. This has been a difficult test for me and my family to endure, but I don’t know where I’d be without Him.
As Christians, we are in a constant fight with the desires born of our sinful natures. We are unable to resist temptation without God’s grace. We are called to trust the Lord (not ourselves) for strength to resist temptation before it becomes sin. It is not the temptation itself that leads us to sin, but the lack of resistance and trust in the Lord for deliverance.
Lord, lead us not into temptation! Rather, guide us into the pathways of justice, love and peace during these Lenten days. Give us the grace and fidelity to be faithful to our God and Father in heaven. Give us the courage to accept who we really are and where we should be.