March 10

Luke 4:1-13

“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.” vss. 1-2

Our forty days of Lent are intended to replicate the time Jesus spent in the wilderness following his baptism. It may even be that some of us have chosen to do some less intensive fasting (forty days would be a stretch). For Jesus the fasting was an act of self-denial in order to receive spiritual insight and direction. As his body was deprived of physical nourishment he saw visions and heard the voice of the Temptor. All kinds of possibilities for ministry along with fragments of scripture flashed through his mind. It was a period of intense testing. Even the minimal fasting that we might do can provide opportunity for reflection on the state of our souls. As we feel pangs of hunger and say no to the gratifications of the flesh our focus sharpens and the choices of life become more clear. Some might even find the courage to move in a whole new direction or at least explore new ways to order our days. Jesus emerges from the wilderness with a clear vision for his future and began proclaiming that the kingdom of God had come near. If we’re diligent in our Lenten disciplines we should expect that when these forty days are over we too will have been strengthened spiritually for wherever our journey leads.

Thought for the Day: What fasting experiences have I had?

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