Finding God on Gannon’s campus

The break has ended and we are in the final stretch for the semester.  This is a time when we batten down the hatches and kick it up a notch.

The season of Lent may have brought with it a commitment to abstain from something that you enjoy, or perhaps you have committed to doing something extra.

When we get our grades in for mid-terms and they are not exactly what we wanted or expected despite hours of study, we immediately recommit to the task of achieving our goals.

That is exactly what we do in Lent – we recommit to the task that we started out to achieve. Whatever it may have been, we assure ourselves that we will place more effort on doing what needs to be done to achieve our goals.

What a wonderful consolation to read the scriptures during this time of the liturgical calendar and hear the sacred text tell us that “Jesus was led into the desert where he was tempted.”

Now we can look at being led with a sense of willingness and submissiveness, or, we can also view it unfavorably.  But why?

If we take a few moments to look at the reluctance, we may see that sometimes the things we give up or take up are not always the easiest things to commit to. We consider that it is easier to continue on the same road by perhaps watching too much TV, when we should be studying, playing video games or Facebooking way too much.

Whatever the situation, it may be easier to just forget it and give up.

Yet being led also says that the one leading is familiar with the terrain that we travel and is well-versed in the necessary moves to accomplish the task.

The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert and did it with the knowledge of what to expect and the necessary means to overcome the dryness.

Jesus was just baptized and came to the understanding of a mission or a call in life and the necessary means was to go through the desert before he was ready to continue.

Satan was right there to tell him how he would never be able to accomplish the job his father had for him.  Isn’t that the same thing we face in our lives?

It seems to me that the most difficult jobs we are assigned in regard to God’s work come with the most disruption and interference.

The only possible way we can overcome it is to realize that the spirit has led us into the desert and the spirit will see us through it.

The second part to the desert temptation story is that Jesus overcame because there were angels to minister to him.

We can do the same for others when we see them down and out.  Perhaps they are going through a very difficult moment in their life and we simply sit with them and listen.

We don’t have to have wings to be an angel, though I think that would be lots of fun. We just need to be led to do God’s work.

If you are the one struggling or suffering, look for the angels that God places in your life.  They are all around us, we just need to be attentive and recognize them.

Lent is a time to give and one of the greatest ministries the church has is the ministry of presence; just be available and present.

We sure don’t need the answers to the problem, but if we are present the answer will come.

If you are looking for a big booming voice to get your attention you may need to shed yourself from the distractions.  Like the mid-term grades, it isn’t over, so stay focused.

Keep working hard and know that within each of us is the divine love to be present for each other. That is what the spirit did when he led Jesus to the desert.

The desert is a place where there seems to be nothing of much value. There is nothing to distract us from what is important to our eternal life.

Find time to sit and be quiet and then work in the ministry of “being present.”



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