Lent is the season of the desert. Every morning in the Office of Readings through most of Lent, we read a passage from the Book of Exodus which centers around Israel’s years in the desert as they traveled from slavery to the Promised Land. On the First Sunday of Lent, we read about Jesus’ venture into that place of presence and memory for God’s people to confront the Voice that derails us from our own spiritual journey to the Promised Land.
In the desert, Jesus sought none of them. He came face-to-face with the Tempter. who had been at work undoing God’s beloved human beings from the start. He was brought face-to-face with his own life and his own truth: if you are the Son of God, the Tempter said again and again, here is what you should do. And Jesus wouldn’t do it. He was brought face-to-face with his own death when the Tempter offered him a quick escape. And he wouldn’t accept that escape, either. He was brought face-to-face with the heart of the struggle ahead. And he did not refuse it.
Copyright Abbey of St. Walburga