The fact that Jesus was led into the realms of Evil by the Holy Spirit is an extraordinary thing, and something that we will do well to remember ourselves.
We can find ourselves in a wilderness. We live in something of a binary world where there is only good and bad, black and white, and we forget all of the other shades of our character. But Good and Evil, and all of those other shades between the two, exist within us, and within the world also. When we find ourselves in tremendously testing circumstances, we may remember that even Jesus himself took those awful times and made them into gospel examples. We can think, for example, of the crucifixion. But there is also Jesus’s forty days in the desert, in which he was tested by the devil. When we remember that it was the Holy Spirit who led him into that place of suffering – not only into the desert but to his cross on Golgotha – then we may find solace in our own times of trauma.
We naturally spend our lives fleeing from evil and running towards good. But it is during the hardest times that we often meet with God on a profound level.
We learn during Lent to wait, and to take on bodily and spiritual mortification. We wait for the coming of Christ, and we mortify ourselves to give us a perspective from the cross. It was, after all, the human perspective that led Jesus to the cross in the first place. So, we as humans may now now fix ourselves to the cross during Lent to contemplate the Divine perspective.
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 4:1-13
Glory to you, O Lord.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit through the wilderness, being tempted there by the devil for forty days. During that time he ate nothing and at the end he was hungry. Then the devil said to him,
‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to turn into a loaf.’
But Jesus replied,
Scripture says: Man does not live on bread alone.’
Then leading him to a height, the devil showed him in a moment of time all the kingdoms of the world and said to him,
‘I will give you all this power and the glory of these kingdoms, for it has been committed to me and I give it to anyone I choose. Worship me, then, and it shall all be yours.’
But Jesus answered him,
‘Scripture says: You must worship the Lord your God, and serve him alone.’
Then he led him to Jerusalem and made him stand on the parapet of the Temple.
‘If you are the Son of God,‘ he said to him ‘throw yourself down from here, for scripture says: “He will put his angels in charge of you to guard you,” and again, “They will hold you up on their hands in case you hurt your foot against a stone.’”
But Jesus answered him,
‘It has been said: You must not put the Lord your God to the test.’
Having exhausted all these ways of tempting him, the devil left him, to return at the appointed time.
The Gospel of the Lord