Joining Christ in the Desert
Why is it that sin is so alluring? Usually we all have good intentions to do our best and to accept the will of God, but oftentimes we fail, because we are inclined to follow our passions and let pride get in the way.
We live in a world of distraction and noise, and on many occasions it can be hard to hear God’s call and know how to act accordingly. Our readings as we begin the Lenten season instruct us to use Jesus Christ as our model of discipleship and obedience to God – and His plan for us.
Thankfully God does not leave us in our sin, and He never abandons those whom He loves. St. Paul reminds the Romans that the Father sent His Son to save us. Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross allowed the sin of Adam and Eve to be reversed. Through Jesus Christ, we now have the opportunity to know our great dignity as God’s own sons and daughters. Baptism permits us to be “plunged into the Paschal Mystery of Christ” in order to inherit the promise of resurrection and eternal life.
However, as St. Gregory of Nazianzus writes, “ we must not expect baptism to free us from the temptations of our persecutor.” As a result, Jesus goes through a “Lenten journey “of sorts after His baptism by John to show his complete dependence upon His Father. The devil, knowing Jesus is hungry and weary from His days in the desert, uses common and ordinary desires to tempt Jesus to turn from the Father.
1 John 2:16 tells us that all that is within the world - “sensual, lust, enticement for the eyes and a pretentious life” – is not of God but of the evil one, and, consequently Jesus, though, will not fall for any of the devils traps, and in rebuking his attempt presents Himself as the perfect servant of the Father. It is His obedience to His Father that allows Him to demonstrate how we are to trust in a God who loves us deeply.
During this Lent, we, too, are to be tempted, not just to keep our Lenten resolutions, but also in becoming most willing to follow God’s lead.
Can we, like Jesus, reject the lies and deception of the world around us? Are we willing to trust in God and follow wherever He leads?
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