“Here and Now”

Here and Now

1st Sunday of Lent

Written by Brittany Holberg, as part of a series of Lenten reflections, “The Mustard Seed”. Click HERE to view the full booklet of her writings.

"Here and Now" 1

Can you picture the state Jesus was in when He was driven out into the wilderness by the spirit? He was not a man of great means. I would imagine He was only wearing the barest of essentials and carried nothing with Him at all. He was driven out and away from everything and everyone. Yes, he was complete divinity, but he was wrapped in our humanness and in this He was prone to the same weaknesses of the flesh that we are. He felt hunger, exhaustion, and pain of every kind. He had come to show us the way, and, in order to do this, He had to understand us on the most intimate level, through our weaknesses. What better way to do this than to experience them on such a personal level?

How often in our own lives do we see someone we love going through something we have been through ourselves and want to help them find their way out? That is what Jesus was doing. He was walking into our wilderness to not only understand us on this level, but to show us there is a way out. A way to resist every temptation put before us. A way through the wilderness we encounter here on earth. If the wilderness was an ocean here on earth, our Savior did not just dip His toe in so he could say he had done it, He fully immersed himself for 40 days so there could be no question as to His level of understanding or ability to empathize with us. Scripture tells us Angels ministered to Him, but this does not mean they lessened the temptation. They were there as a sign that the presence of God was always with Jesus in his humanity, just as they are for us in ours.

Later, after John was arrested, Jesus proclaimed to all that the time promised by God had come, that the Kingdom of God was near. He told people to repent of their sins and believe the Good news He had brought with him and in him. He did not brag or boast about what he had endured and overcome; instead he offered us his Kingdom. He proclaimed it and openly told us to turn away from our sin, sin born from the temptations He too had faced. He was saying to us, “Here I am! Come, and I will show you the way.”

As we begin this season of Lent, let’s meditate on the power of His glory displayed in the wilderness and His love for us in our weaknesses. His love is so deep that He wanted not to simply see what we endure but to experience it so he could understand us in the most intimate ways. Hear him, as you face temptation, whispering to you, “My child, I know.” Watch Him walk boldly into the crowds and imagine it is your eyes He is looking into as he proclaims the time has come. The time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God. He is offering it to us… right here, right now.

Brittany Holberg is an Oblate of the Sisters of the Morning Star. She is a resident on Texas Women’s Death Row.

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