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. (Luke 4:1)

Filled and falling

Filled with the Spirit, Jesus goes into the desert. He goes to battle demons of self-interest and greed, sloth and narcissism that bedevil the tangled wilderness of our minds and hearts.

I see him … and smile, for I know he will not fail.

He refuses to compromise with the powers of evil. He will not do the right thing for the wrong reason. He will not turn from the painful way when resistance and hatred oppose him. Nor will he seek power for himself; power is for one thing only: loving service of the Father’s will.

We could reflect on how different he is from our tangled hearts. Our egos are busily at work even in our best moments, curating our image, subtly serving ourselves. But guilt and shame are not the point of Lent. They are the very opposite of the point.

Jesus is the point. Falling in love with him and everything in him, that’s the point of watching and knowing him.

Look and see the love, the commitment, the freedom, the suffering and the beauty of his life, given to reveal the will of the Loving Mystery he calls Abba, Father.

Filled with the Spirit, he knows the wondrous and beautiful heart of God. God fills him. This filling frees him to be for others, for us, giving himself even unto death. All this, that we may be filled with Love in him … and know what he knows.

Pr. David L. Miller