Skip to main content


Congregation for the Clergy: The Spirit Drove Jesus into the Desert. Now it is our Turn

The journey of Lent consists in letting ourselves be led into the desert

Having introduced the season of Lent with the imposition of ashes, the Church today points out the path for us to journey along.   She also tells us the nature of this journey and how we might go about following it.The Gospel reading shows us how the journey of Lent consists in letting ourselves be led into the desert, allowing ourselves to remain there for forty days, and challenging ourselves to face the temptations of satan. 

We are invited to follow Jesus into the Desert

We are invited to follow Jesus into the Desert


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - "The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by satan" (Mk 1:12-13). 

Having introduced the season of Lent with the imposition of ashes, the Church today points out the path for us to journey along.   She also tells us the nature of this journey and how we might go about following it.

The Gospel reading shows us how the journey of Lent consists in letting ourselves be led into the desert, allowing ourselves to remain there for forty days, and challenging ourselves to face the temptations of satan.  It is like the Exodus of Israel towards the Promised Land; it is the exodus of humanity with each of us journeying as pilgrims towards heaven. 

We don't look forward to this journey for its own sake, but we are led along it by Another.  The journey is signposted by our combat with the temptation of Satan and - with all that implies in terms of fatigue and suffering.  It is a long journey which only our sure hope allows us to undertake with faith and courage.

The nature of this Lenten journey is revealed in the collect, the opening prayer, addressed to God, Our Father, that "we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effect".

This Lenten journey is a "sacramental sign" of our conversion. What does this mean?  "Sacramental sign" means that on this road, that is common to every man, God has preceded us and has done something for us and now He asks us to play our part. He has already fulfilled this journey of conversion for us.

The model to follow is Jesus Christ. "The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert."   It is Christ, true God and true Man, "the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous" (1 Pt 3:18) who has taken upon Himself our sins and by His free choice, as He was without sin and totally immune to it, has decided to also face our temptations. 

St Augustine wrote: "Christ took his flesh from you and in return gave you the salvation that resides in him; he took your death for himself and gave you his life; he took the share you deserved and gave you the honor  that was his. Consequently, he took your temptation and gave you his victory." (Comm in Ps., 60).

It is not asked of us, therefore, to make this journey simply by 'doing likewise'.  There would be nothing new in that, because, whether we like it or not, our daily life is already like this with all its hard work and hopes! 

We are asked, in fact, to welcome what is new about Lent: the Other on this path, who is our companion, who has already journeyed on the path of the Exodus, and who has associated us, by our Baptism, with His Victory.

We are all called to stay close to Christ, giving over everything to him - our flesh, our sin, our humiliations, and our temptations - so that we can receive back so much more.  He offers us His Salvation, His Life, His Glory, His Victory! 

Let's, therefore,  give everything  to the Lord in the great gift of sacramental Confession, in Eucharistic adoration and in frequent Communion, where Jesus takes our entirety  and gives us His Very Self. Let us trust everything to our "greatest friend", that God has placed at our side.

And so we offer all our sacrifices and hardships to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, because she who is the treasurer of heaven, will distribute to humanity the merits of her Son.  Obtain for us, we pray, O Mary, that we will keep our eyes fixed on Christ so to defeat, along with Him, the temptations of satan and thus gain the gift of Eternal Life.  Amen.

Citations of
Gn 9,8-15:   www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9ammqbi.htm
 www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9avumli.htm
1P 3,18-22:   www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9a10zqc.htm 
Mk 1,12-15:    www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9asrrqa.htm 
 www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9avun0a.htm 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


ę 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.

Keywords: Lent, desert, penance, sacrifice, temptation, Jesus, Devil, 40 Days, Congregation for the Clergy



NEWSLETTERS »

E-mail:       Zip Code: (ex. 90001)
Today's Headlines

Sign up for a roundup of the day's top stories. 5 days / week. See Sample

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

1 - 1 of 1 Comments

  1. abey
    2 years ago

    Jesus was led by the Spirit to be tempted off satan or called Spiritual temptation. Temptation come in two ways, Physical & Spiritual, where the Spiritual comes directly from satan, which is his challenge to our worthiness to GOD, which included the temptations of the first Parents, even as stated in Rev. by Jesus "The hour of temptation that shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth", falling into spiritual temptation, in the spirit even once is fallen, whereas physical temptations over a time turns into Spiritual to the fall, for eg. uncorrected gay behaviours called perpetual sins, which can be counteracted to corrections through the intersession of Mother Mary. Lent is the period to reflect upon all of this to salvation in The Lord Jesus Christ through His words in Revelations "Just as I Overcame so should you" & this comes about through Faith & belief in Him ,with our Baptism in Him goes a long way to this.

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

More Easter / Lent

'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead' - Luke 24:46

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. continue reading


Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1.11, Matthew 21:1.11, Luke 19:28.44, and John 12:12.19) ... continue reading


Holy Week

On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week... continue reading


Holy Thursday

HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading


Good Friday

On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord ... continue reading


Easter Sunday

Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year ... continue reading


Fasting and Abstinence

For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere. Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). continue reading


FAQs About Lent

Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism... continue reading


Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. First Station: Jesus is condemned to death... pray the stations now


What did you give up for Lent?

What did you give up for Lent?

From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year.
What others gave up »

Lent / Easter News

  • 5th Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion
    Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014

    This Sorrowful pilgrimage now brings me here to this lonely hill. All the agony, the beatings and the bleeding have led me somewhere I do not want to go; somewhere I resist going with all my ...Continue Reading

  • 4th Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
    Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014

    I wonder if perhaps it was tempting for Jesus to just lie down on the dirt road and die right there. Completely sapped of strength and in agonizing pain, I wonder if He was tempted by the ...Continue Reading

  • 3rd Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
    Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014

    Humiliation, in one form or another, is part of the package.  It is only avoidable if we decide to deny Christ. WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - 3rd Sorrowful Mystery:  The Crowning ...Continue Reading

  • Good Friday Reflection on the Nature of Sin
    Michael Terheyden - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014

    The Passion of Christ represents the most atrocious miscarriage of justice in all of human history. So when we come face to face with the crucified Christ on Good Friday, it is only natural for us to ...Continue Reading

Good Friday

  • Good Friday

    On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.

    The Cross

    In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God. Learn More

Ash Wednesday

  • Ash Wednesday

    Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.

    The Ashes

    The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. Learn More

Stations of the Cross

  • Stations of the Cross

    Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.

    Opening Prayer

    ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations

Fasting & Abstinence

  • 'Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed' Lk. 5:35

    Abstinence. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.

    Fasting. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal.
    Learn More »


Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 18:1-6
The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh as follows, 'Get up ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 146:1-2, 2-4, 5-6
Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, my soul! I will praise Yahweh all my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet that is cast in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

July 31 Saint of the Day

St. Ignatius Loyola
July 31: St. Ignatius was born in the family castle in Guip˙zcoa, Spain, ... Read More