Friday, February 15, 2013


"Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry."

-Luke 4:1-2
I love the simplicity in the last line of this passage. Jesus did not eat for 40 days and afterwards he was hungry. I also love what seems like a contradiction that occurs at the conclusion of Jesus's time in the desert: Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region (4:14). Jesus spends 40 days in the desert. He does not eat a thing. He is tempted by the devil and He emerges from that experience in the "power of the Spirit."
If we are made full in our hunger, than put a fork in me.
I was hungry after what amounted to a 9 and 1/2 hour fast on Ash Wednesday. At about 9:30 a.m., as we finished the Eucharistic Celebration, my stomach growled. I was hungry. I'm not sure it was because of a lack of sustenance in my belly. Instead, I feel that the psychosomatics of knowing that I wasn't going to be able to eat in between meals played a trick on my body. All day long I felt hungry. Even throughout the course of Thursday and Friday, I have felt hungry.
Jesus made it 40 days. In the desert. With the devil tempting Him.
I had a hard time making it through day one.
Furthermore, I set out before the beginning of Lent to try to compose 40 blogs throughout these 40 days. I didn't even make it to day two with this one. I went to bed last night tired, empty and worn.
And hungry.
This hunger, though, is precisely what God wants us to feel. He wants our physical, temporal and earthly hungers to lead us to Him. He wants us to hand Him our yoke and burden for with Him it will be easy and light. He wants us to come to Him when we are worn. He wants to make us anew.
The Psalmist (51:12) writes, "A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit."
May this be our prayer of Lent. May our hunger remind us that we do not live on bread alone. May our tiredness amplify our desire to rest in His peace. May our emptiness allow us to recognize our incompleteness without Him. May our struggle invoke the perseverance of our Lord on His way up Calvary. Finally, may our striving humbly attempt to mimic God's intense pursuit of our hearts, and may we, this year, finally allow ourselves to be caught...and loved...and saved...and fed.