Driven By The Spirit
How often have you heard today’s gospel and not even noticed that Jesus was driven into the desert by the power of the Spirit? It’s the same Spirit that got you to church today. It’s the same Spirit that is nudging you to make the next 6 weeks a time of transformation for you. What is it that you need to die to become a more loving person—more like God in your ability to accept all people as your brothers and sisters?
Notice God’s humility in the first reading. As Noah and his family exit the ark, God initiates a covenant with them. God promises that He will never again allow a flood to destroy all mortal beings. We have only to look to the sky after a storm and the rainbow (God’s smile) reminds God and us of His promise.
What God really wants from us is a change of heart so that our hearts will be more like His heart. Ah, that’s the real challenge. Jesus not only tells us what this entails but lives what he proclaims. Forgive one another is one of our biggest challenges. Jesus actually says if you are going to church and you remember you are at odds with someone, you should put your gift on the altar, leave immediately and go make amends with this person.
For God it’s not what’s on the outside but what’s in your heart that matters. God is all about relationships and is the very essence of this word. Since before creation the Father has been constantly pouring out his love into the Son completely; and the Son constantly pours himself into the Spirit completely; and the Spirit pours himself constantly and completely into the Father. Nothing is ever held back. This is the love God calls us to, that complete giving of ourselves to all people.
This brings us back to the question: what do I need to change this Lent so that I can become more like God in my ability to pour out my love generously and always?
Whatever you choose to do or not do, after six weeks of practice it should lead to a permanent change within you. You can love God if you know His heart. Remember, God always keeps His promises.
Ask the Spirit to guide you as you begin your Lenten transformation.
Blessings on you and your efforts!