Vocation Meditation - <br />1st Sunday of Lent, 2009 > Vocations.ca

Vocation Meditation -
1st Sunday of Lent, 2009

After Jesus was baptized, the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts; and the Angels waited on Him.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news."

No sooner was the glory of the hour of the baptism over, than there came the battle of the temptations. It was the Spirit who thrust Jesus out into the wilderness for the testing time. The very Spirit who came upon Him at His baptism, now drove Him out for His test.

Temptations are not meant for our ruin but for our good. They are meant to be tests from which we emerge better warriors and athletes of God. They are useful in allowing us to test our freedom and make choices that render us truly human and truly God-like.

Jesus was tested for 'forty days', a biblical phrase commonly used by the Jews to mean a fair length of time. During these days, Satan tempted Jesus. He is the real Adversary, the essence of everything that is against God. Two vivid touches complete the picture of Jesus' wilderness experience. The wild beasts were a common sight as if giving Jesus company. They offered no harm. Satan instead, wanted more harm to Jesus' mission as Messiah. In Luke's Gospel, Satan proposed 3 shortcuts to carry out this mission: ease, might and fame. Tempted in solitude, God never left Jesus. His Angels gave Him solace, giving reinforcements in His days of trial. All along, Jesus was not left to fight His battle alone - and neither we!

Soon, victorious after temptations, Jesus carried out His mission with greater urgency and zeal. His rallying cry about the Kingdom of God was then summarized in 3 great dominant words of the Christian faith: Repent! Believe in the Good News!

Vocation Challenge:
God allows those whom He called to pass through days of testing.
Do I spend these days of 'wilderness' fortified by prayer and trust in God?

Dear God,
You never leave your servants alone when days of testing come their way. Strengthen me with your Spirit. Stand by me so that I may live my vocation with a repentant heart yet always ready to proclaim the Good News to all. Amen.

For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.

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