READING— Matthew 4:1-11
At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” He said in reply, “It is written: One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”
The Spirit is a creative spirit and curiously, in today’s reading, it drives Jesus to a place that is barren and lifeless. Lent begins with this invitation to strip away what is not necessary in our lives so that we can confront and embrace again the beauty and creative power of what lies inside us. The season comes with a reminder for us to listen to God’s voice as Jesus has done– to listen as God speaks to us not only in Scripture– but more wonderfully, how God speaks to us in our hearts.
In this encounter, it is likely that we will need to befriend and tame and confront as well the parts of our lives that are dark. As ministers and educators, this is an essential discipline we will need to exercise. De La Salle often reminds us to keep vigilance over ourselves. In a word, to become attentive to our own inner state, our feelings and motivations and not to allow these to cloud our vision of acting only in view of God.
May the time of Lent be a time for us to listen to God. May this listening lead us to a deeper knowledge and acceptance of ourselves so that we can more faithfully and creatively proclaim God’s goodness in our ministry.
Look not upon our sins but upon our desire to serve you and one another. Dispel our darkness, and help us to embrace our failings in loving union with your goodness. Heal us this day, and may we be a source of strength and courage for others. Grant this through the intercession of all those who fill up what is wanting in the sufferings of Christ. AMEN.