Lent: moving from a dessert to a desert experience

Lent: moving from a dessert to a desert experience

Posted on : February 16, 2024

We all know what dessert is.  After we eat our fill of a meal, we find room for something sweet and delicious.  I know, as a kid, if I could do anything, it was finding room for that pumpkin pie or oatmeal cookie.  On one hand, you don’t really need it.  But on the other hand, it is so wonderful…until it becomes too much.  This is why Lent is so necessary for us every year.  We need a moment to stop and think about all the “extra” things that have crept into our lives that keep us from living the life God has in store for us.  Perhaps we need to ask ourselves:  what is competing with my prayer time?  At the end of my day, when I have already had a full day, what am I adding to it that makes me more tired, unhealthy and stressed?

In the gospel of Mark this weekend, it says that “the Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and He remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan.  He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to Him.”  The Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the desert experience because it is in the desert that we are able to rid ourselves of the “extra” of life and give time for what really matters.  It was His time in the desert that enabled Him to realize that “the kingdom of God is at hand.”  When we busy ourselves with unnecessary things, we often fail to see the kingdom God is building and wants you to build up with your life.

During the season of Lent, we will be singing “Into the Desert.”  Many of you know the song.  But I want to share some of the lyrics as an invitation to move from a dessert life to a desert life…

Come, beloved, and rest your mind;
leave the things of this world behind.
Here I will be your daily bread, all that you need.
Into the desert I will lead; here in the silence
My word will speak.
And you will find the peace you seek here in the desert.
Stay, beloved, and lose your fear;
there is healing and mercy here.
Here I will be a living stream, all that you need.

Get rid of the “extras” in your life.  Create a desert experience so you can truly pray and “find the peace you seek…healing and mercy…all that you need.”

Happy Lent,
Fr. Jeremy

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