Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Rom 5:12-19 or 5:12, 17-19
I spent the weekend putting together two shelving unites for the garage. A friend and I put the first shelf together toward later afternoon yesterday and finished the second shelf this afternoon. The piles in the garage had become so plentiful that the two cars could squeeze inside the garage, but I practically had to climb out of the back of the station wagon to get out of the garage. For weeks I have looked at the piles and thought, “I really have to do something.”
So the two shelving units seem like this big breakthrough! Not only could I pull the cars in without any problems, I could also get out of the car without practicing any stunt woman activities.
All of this happened the first weekend in Lent! Jesus went to the desert to clear out inner space, to make room for the word of God to be accessible. After forty days, the devil was there to make spiritual clutter for Him, challenging him with the temptations of: showing his power as the Son of God and changing stones into bread, seeing if the angels would prevent him from harm if he threw himself off the temple’s parapet and giving Jesus power over multiple kingdoms if he would worship the evil one.
In each case Jesus said no to the temptations of the Devil. I think that He was able to make these choices because he remembered who he was, not from a place of fear or doubt, but rather from a place of inner conviction.
This Lent, each of us are invited into that same desert that we might root ourselves in the way of God; a God who is faithful and all loving. We make this journey in community with other pilgrims who seek to root themselves in the same God and Holy Spirit that led Jesus to His deepest truths.
My garage is hardly a desert, however, as I begin this Lenten journey it is a great metaphor for the work that is waiting to happen in my soul, one pile at a time, sometimes with concert with the help of a friend and at other times by myself. What is your metaphor? May this verse from the responsorial psalm be our guide during this Lenten Season:
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.