By: Maggie Leonard
Reflection—v. 2, where for forty days he was tempted
For some reason, I always think of this passage as when Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days, then is tempted. But it would seem that it is all at once and for an extended period of time. My projection is wishful thinking; wouldn’t it be nice if our temptations were held at bay most of the time and dished out in small, limited amounts periodically? The reality is that we all face temptation. Most days it is not resolved quickly, we have to wrestle with it for a time. I’m not sure if I’m comforted or disheartened that Jesus didn’t dispel the tempter from his presence in the few minutes that it takes me to read the passage. I wish it were easier for him—and me. It takes time to wrestle with God’s call on our life, see unhealthy ways of relating to one another, and let go of those deceptive ‘easy’ ways of getting what we ill-advisedly want. I can hope that my forty days of Lent will be even half as productive as Jesus’ time in the wilderness. Not that anything is wrapped up neatly—when the tempter left Jesus, it was not forever, rather until the next opportunity. Our work of resisting and growing is never done, but each little bit we do is a victory and creates more space for love.
Prayer Companion God, the path we are on is not easy; true to your promise, please be be with us now and forever.