Perhaps the most overlooked line in this famous Gospel is that Jesus had just returned from the Jordan. He had just been filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit (his own Spirit) in the waters of the Jordan, an “anointing” which established him publicly as the Christ, the Anointed One. That same Spirit had overshadowed Mary and led to her conceiving the Lord; that same Spirit had inspired Simeon to recognize a small baby as the Messiah; that same Spirit goes out of Jesus when he performs miracles; and that same Spirit will raise him from the dead. It is the Spirit who now leads him into the desert for forty days. Certainly, that Spirit never parted from him in that lonely desert, but instead inspired his prayer.
For prayer was Christ’s usual habit to discern and obey the will of the Father, and to prepare himself for whatever momentous event was ahead of him. This Lent, let us resolve to be fortified by the same thing which gave Jesus strength against evil. Like Jesus, let us cultivate a deeper prayer life.
Let us turn to sacred Scripture to discern God’s will for us and to hear God speaking to us. Let us rely on the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit when we are weak, and thank him when we are made strong. And when these forty days of Lent are through, may we sing ever more joyfully that Christ has conquered sin and death.
A little smile = A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they were walking to church for Sunday Mass “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?” One little girl replied “Because people are sleeping!”
Remember God Loves YOU
and so do I! Father Hearn