God, by His Spirit, leads us into the desert to purify us from so many things that do not correspond to His will in our lives
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and, in the desert, He was led by the Spirit. There he was tempted by the devil for forty days.” (Luke 4, 1-2).
Today’s liturgy puts us in communion with Jesus’ Lent. For forty days He was led by the Spirit into the desert, and in the desert the Spirit led Him.
Here, it is very important to be aware of this, as the Holy Spirit leads us into the desert because it is necessary. The desert is the place to meet yourself; it is the place of emptying; it is the place where we are filled and fulfilled by the grace of God.
But when we set out to go into the desert, we will face temptations. Jesus did not have evil within himself, it was external evil that drove him. But, dThere are many demons inside us that don’t want to leave our lives. Demon of accommodation, gluttony, pleasures, selfishness, pride, self-will. We need to go to the desert to fight the demons that torment our lives; to purify our soul and our heart.
We are tempted when we want to cast these demons out of us, because they don’t want to leave our lives. However, if we allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit, in the power of the Word we will combat the temptations in our lives. In this time of grace, we are called to not only stop eating and do penance, but we are also called to fight evil.
Jesus fought the evil of temptation, pleasure, gluttony. The man of God does not live only on what he eats, on the pleasures of this life, but on what is the Word of God. Therefore, the primary way to find our spirituality is to turn entirely to the Word of God. We need to let it guide and direct our lives.
Jesus, there in the desert, was taken by the devil to be tempted by the great temptation of having, of power. Who among us doesn’t want to have it all? Who among us is not tempted by consumerism, by the desire to possess? It’s inside, arousing greed. We need to overcome this terrible demon that is often within us and wants to push us to live outside of consumption. Today, a person is not measured by what they are, but by what they have. It is the temptation of the times in which we live.
There is another temptation, which is to dishonor God’s name, or even take His name in vain. The devil invites Jesus to jump, so that God can help him. Putting God to the test, putting God in unnecessary ways even in the wrong practices we do and then throwing everything at Him is a terrible temptation.
It is a terrible temptation to elevate one’s life in the name of God, to place God in everything, but the practices do not correspond to His will. Therefore, Jesus says: “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
Let us not try to place God where He is not and let us not try to instrumentalize Him for our needs, where we throw everything at Him. God, by His Spirit, leads us into the desert to purify us from so many things that do not correspond to His will in our lives.
God bless you!