“Experience of the desert” Reflection for 1st Sunday of lent
For the First Sunday of Lent, the Church gives us the Gospel of Matthew, where, just after the Baptism in the river Jordan, the Spirit leads Jesus to the desert, where he struggles for forty days with himself and his human nature. Yes, He had to face on his own our limitations such as hunger, thirst, extreme heat of the day and chill and darkness of the night on the desert. I think that, right there, he came to the bounds of his humility – and it wasn’t easy even for Him.
The Bible implies in many places that experience of the desert is quite essential for every Christian. There, in the place of desolation, we have a chance to meet God on completely different, much deeper level. We have to go through it alone and it requires a lot of effort; it has to be paid with struggle and suffering. In this very important life experience, we have a chance to get to the threshold of our being and to have a look on the other side…
When our human nature, together with its pride and egoism is being crushed, what’s left, can be truly offered to God and we can get to the place where “Angels will minister to us”. However before we will get there, we will have to meet the Prince of Darkness… In the moments of our greatest weakness he will be there, with a bargain and he will offer an easy way out. From the Gospel we know that he had propositions even for the Son of God, where he tried to play on his deepest human weaknesses in starvation, in fear, pride and craving for power.
This is the lesson our Master gave us, and it is the example we should follow.
So let’s live to the extreme. Go out to the desert, challenge yourself or let yourself to get challenged.
Enter the narrow and difficult way. Put an effort and determination to get there and to encounter the Living God. It’s not too late this year: the Easter is coming and it is not worth living just ordinarily, but it is worth living to the extreme.