Vocation Meditation -
1st Sunday of Lent, 2010
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’”
Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’”
Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
In His baptism in the Jordan and now His temptation in the desert, the true vocation of Jesus is being revealed to us. We are discovering that He is the suffering Son of God who has come to present us the truth about God.
Just as Christ's vocation appears more clearly in these moments, so too our vocation may be illuminated in the light of the Lord's struggle with satan in the desert.
Jesus...was led by the Spirit in the wilderness
The Holy Spirit is the revealer of all vocations. His gentle poke and prod leads each of us to follow into the desert in order to seek and find that special task that God has set before us.
...for forty days he was tempted by the devil
Most good and worthy things are not gained without a struggle. To become the instrument that God desires, we must be challenged over a prolonged period. In the torment and agony of determination, we discover how God wishes to utilize the talents that He gave us.
He ate nothing at all during those days
Often, the call to serve God requires a divesting of some thing that is important in our lives. As Christ voluntarily went without food, we must be prepared to go without... including without certain relationships or comforts.
"He ate nothing at all during those days..."
What am I willing to give up so that I can live my God-given vocation?
In baptism, you anointed me with the Holy Spirit and incorporated me into the body of Christ, your Church. Now, in this Lenten moment, drive me out into the desert so that I may purge myself and come to a better understanding of your desire for my life. Let me imitate your Son, whose struggled and overcame all temptation.
For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.