A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
June 30, 2020
Into the Desert to Empty Ourselves
February 11, 2016
Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights and afterward he was hungry.
It is interesting to note that Jesus chose to go out into the desert to fast and pray in preparation for his ministry, in preparation for his journey to the Cross. It seems to me that most of us while preparing for a journey would actually be gathering belongings and packing food to enjoy along the way. But Jesus chose to go it alone; no possessions, no food. He chose to empty himself in preparation for his sacred journey, a journey that would change the course of humanity forever. So often I hear people speak of their longing to simplify their lives; clean out the garage, the overstuffed storage room, the jam-packed closets. If we were to take an inventory, most of us would agree that we have accumulated too many things and then we pack them away just in case we need them later. Doing so complicates our lives; for whatever we take possession of, whatever we purchase, whether another pair
of shoes or a picture for the wall or another piece of technology, we buy with it more responsibility. Things have to be taken care of and too many responsibilities can fill us with anxiety and stress in our lives robbing us of time and energy.
Jesus provides us an example with his visit into the desert and again when he sent his disciples out into the world: “He ordered them to take nothing for the journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts.” (Mark 6.8) He was teaching them to simplify, stay focused and trust that God would provide what they needed as they went forth to spread the Good News.
Let us simplify our lives this Lent. Let us “go to the desert” letting go of all that has come to possess us; physically, mentally, spiritually that we might experience what is means to be empty, that we might be open to God filling us. Let us fast and allow ourselves to grow hungry trusting that God will feed us, providing all we need for the journey as we go forth to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world.