On the Road Together for March 10
First Sunday of Lent
by Tracy Rodenborn, Director of RCIA
Temptation & the Holy Spirit
Every First Sunday of Lent, we hear from one the Gospels about the Temptations of Jesus. This year, we have Luke’s version. Sometimes, Luke’s Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles are referred to as the books of the Holy Spirit. These two books emphasize the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus and His disciples and in a very highlighted way, in the life of the early church as it is getting started and spreading through the missionary activity to both the Jews and Gentiles. Our reading today is a wonderful illustration of how the Holy Spirit is so portrayed in Luke’s Gospel.
The first two lines make it very clear that Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit leads Jesus to the desert for the time of temptation. Like any good temptation, the devil is really trying to get at Jesus’ identity. Twice, the devil says, “If you are the Son of God…” Jesus’ time of prayer and fasting in the desert was a time of preparation for His mission. The devil, at Jesus’s vulnerable time after many days of fasting, tries to steer Jesus away from His true identity.
As we become conscience of own weaknesses, the times that we are most vulnerable to sin, we may also realize that the temptations we have are also targeting our true identity. Lent is an opportune time for us to take a close look and really get in touch with that which steers us away from our true identity as children of God.
Something striking to me in the Gospel passages of Jesus’ temptations is His quick response to the devil – never considering the glamour of the temptations, but quickly nipping them in the bud with strong resolve. Luke makes it clear that Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit, and it is from this of place of unity with the Trinity that Jesus is able to resist the adversary.
I often ask people when they have truly felt the Holy Spirit active in their lives. The response is often a time of joy: a feeling of assurance of the presence of the Holy Spirit at the birth of the child or at a wedding celebration or a time of great happiness. I think one thing we can take from Luke’s version of Jesus’ temptations is to contemplate about the times the Holy Spirit is with us in our weakness, in our vulnerability, in our times of temptations and even failure. Knowing the Holy Spirit is ever close to us in all of these times can help us to have that unity with the Trinity so that our identity and strength can resist the adversary in our own lives.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your
and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same
we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through
Our Lord, Amen.
Readings for March 10:
on Thursday, March 7 at 11:51AM