I have seen vast tracts of desert lands in Israel, Jordan and Egypt, extending as far as your eyes can see. They look refined and clean externally to say the least, but underneath their landscape dwell venomous snakes, scorpions and other deadly animals ready to strike on intruders of their territory.
Beware of the devil who appears in juicy fashion of wealth, prestige and power, with its tactical move to tempt a person to engage in self-serving behavior, physical satisfaction, pleasure, vain ambition and independence from God. These temptations are not easy to overcome because their attraction fits into our worldly standards. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to combat the devil just what our Lord did.
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. ( Lk. 4: 1-2). The devil saw his hunger as a perfect timing to lure him with sensational offers of worldly satisfaction, power and fame in defiance of his Father’s plan of salvation by way of the Cross. Jesus used the Word of God as his strength and shield against the onslaught of the devil’s tactical temptation.
We join Jesus in the desert in our Lenten journey. Surely, we’ll meet hardships and challenges but with the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can make our desert journey with direction and meaning, away from the noise of the world in solitude with ourselves and with God. Our desert journey gives us an opportunity to establish a closer relationship with God.
How rightly said that the prize of life is gained not at the beginning but at the end of our journey. As each of us has a goal to achieve and a cross to carry, we must make bold and daring steps to attain our mission. Though sometimes failure is encountered at the thousandth step, don’t give your plan for triumph and success must just be around the corner. You never know how close you are to the “ pot of gold” unless you make just another turn at the bend. Remember that every single effort is like a blow to the trunk of the mighty oak tree and think of the force coming from a thousand blows. While the word “despair” is the favorite language of the fool, the word “ inspire” is the favorite language of the wise. In our desert journey, we walk with Jesus in His way to Calvary and to His Resurrection.
On the flip side, someone said that we should not lose the spark that made us. When your mind says, “ give up”, hope says, “ try once more.” When it hurts, just observe because life is trying to teach you something. Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace. Weak people revenge, strong people forgive and intelligent people ignore. Life with God is not immunity from difficulties but peace in difficulties. Sometimes God breaks your heart to save your soul. Amen on that folks!!
St. Faustina wrote: “ I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish.” ( Diary 48).
Pray the Divine Mercy prayer every 3 p.m. Daily recite the Chaplet of Mercy for peace in our families and in the world.