Preparing Mind, Heart, and Will to Serve God
Written by Chachie Abara
Why did Jesus choose such a barren, lonely place for an intense and long period of sustained prayer and fasting? In the Gospel of Matthew, he tells us how Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. Matthew states it to where he somehow tells us what obstacle will Jesus soon face, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil” If we re-read this sentence again, it really speaks to us because right now as we had began our lenten journey, you think that it is going to be easy but in actuality, we will be soon tempted to give up or give in. But that is why through ours hearts What compelled Jesus to seek solitude, away from his family and friends, for such a lengthy period? Was it simply a test to prepare him for his mission? Or did Satan want to lure him into a trap? The word tempt in English usually means to entice someone to do what is wrong or forbidden. The Scriptural word used here also means test in the sense of proving and assessing someone to see if if they are prepared and ready for the task at hand. We test flight pilots to see if they are fit to fly under all conditions, including times of adverse turbulence, storms, and poor visibility. In like manner God tests his people to see if they are ready to follow and serve him without reservation or compromise. Jesus was no exception to this pattern of testing and preparation for the mission his Father gave him. He was led into the wilderness for 40 days without food and little shelter. He had nothing to sustain himself in this barren wilderness except what the Father would provide for him during his 40 days of prayer and fasting. Jesus was left alone in this harsh and austere environment to wrestle with the temptation to seek an easy or comfortable course that would avoid pain and hardship, humiliation and rejection, suffering and death on a cross.
Jesus’ testing was similar to test test which Adam and Eve underwent. But the only main difference was Jesus had resisted the devil where he obeyed the voice of his father and with the strenght from God he resisted the temptations that Satan kept nudging him to do. This is where it starts with us, as we continue to go through this 40 days being in the desert, we will get tested and we will eventually be tempted to give in. So here are challenges I have created to help all of us:
- Monday: Do simple acts of kindness! (i.e whether it has to be opening the door for someone, listening to a friend and being mindful of them, paying it forward – paying for the next person after you and etc. . )
- Tuesday: Write a motivational message on a post it note and place it somewhere around the campus where others can read it.)
- Wednesday: Pray for someone that you don’t normally pray to
- Thursday: Spend time in silence just quietly meditating to christian music.
- Friday: Going to daily mass with someone.
CRS Reflection on Lent
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, offers some reflection of what Lent is and how we might begin to observe it.
Tips for Praying
Fr. Mike Schmitz from Ascension Press gives us some advise on how to pray to help us in our Lenten discipline this year. Hope you find it helpful.