Lectio Divina: 1st Sunday of Lent
“Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days.” — Luke 4:1-2
Welcome to the desert! As we begin this Lenten season, the Church presents to us a Gospel reading in which Jesus engages in spiritual warfare with the devil. This is done intentionally to remind us that Lent — and Christianity at its core — is a battle between light and darkness. It is a time to fight and conquer the sin in our hearts. A time to fight to become more like Jesus, who is all loving and merciful. This battle, a battle for our true identity, is fought through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
After Jesus was baptized, He was led by that Holy Spirit into the desert where He spent 40 days in solitude and prayer. While there, He is tempted by the devil — who is using the same tactics that he used in the Garden of Eden. Jesus combats the enemy by being secure in His relationship with the Father and by defending Himself with Scripture.
The devil uses the same strategies today. He tries to get us to doubt God’s goodness by turning our eyes on things of this world. He’ll try to get us to abandon everything claiming that only by doing so will we be like God. But we’re already made in His image and likeness! We don’t have to fight for something which we already have. As we enter deeper into the season of Lent, make sure to cling close to your identity as a beloved son/daughter. Pray, fast, and give alms. This way, we’ll be ready for battle.
- How is the Holy Spirit leading you deeper into the desert this Lenten season?
- What temptations do you need to face and conquer?
- Are you ever blinded by power or glory?
- Do you ever fall into the trap of worshiping something other than God?
- Do you test God or are you confident in your relationship with Him?