"Jesus returned from the Jordan full of the Holy Spirit and was led by the Spirit into the desert, where he was tempted by the Devil for forty days." Luke 4:1-2a
When we think of Jesus, we think of His miracles, His parables, and His sacrifice. What we tend to forget is that He lived a life quite like His human peers until He was 30 years old. That's when He was baptized. But even after He was baptized and God declared that Jesus was His Son and that He was pleased with Him, Jesus still wasn't ready to begin His work as our savior.
Instead, the Spirit led Him into the desert. LED Him.
The Spirit, God's Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the Devil. The Spirit led Him to temptation. Straight into temptation. Well that seems wrong. He is Jesus after all.
But Jesus spent forty days in the desert for us. He learned what it was to be tempted like us. He was strengthened by denying the Devil, as He asks us to do. Then He told His disciples about those days so they could write it in the Good News for the whole world to hear. And He did that all so that we would know that temptation in our lives strengthens us. We don't want to be tempted. As Father Paul pointed out this morning, Jesus taught us to pray that God not lead us into temptation. But it is good for us sometimes. Especially now, here, where we are give forty days to be tempted, to pray through those temptation, deny the Devil, and come out of the desert stronger and ready to be more of what God calls us to be.
So as we begin these forty days in our own deserts, try to remember everything Jesus taught us in His forty days. Remember that you are led by the Spirit on this journey and if you continue to follow Him, you will not get lost. Remember that Jesus knows what you're going through. But most of all, remember that temptation strengthens us. Keep denying the Devil. Pick Jesus because He loves you and He's worth it. And on your toughest days this Lent, remember that you are being refined by the fire.
With Him you can thrive on your temptations, so don't be afraid. He's with you.
-Catholic Campus Ministry
*Check back every day this week for more reflections on Luke Chapter 4*
*This coming Sunday we have Mass on Campus at 5:30 PM in Litrenta Lecture Hall*