I pause for a moment
and reflect on God's life-giving presence
in every part of my body, in everything around me,
in the whole of my life.
Daily Prayer - 2013-02-17
I pause for a moment
A thick and shapeless tree-trunk
would never believe that it could become a statue,
admired as a miracle of sculpture,
and would never submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor,
who sees by his genius what he can make of it (Saint Ignatius).
I ask for the grace to let myself be shaped by my loving Creator.
My soul longs for your presence, Lord.
When I turn my thoughts to you,
I find peace and contentment.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread." Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone.'" Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, "To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'" Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'" Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
- Lord, you told of these temptations to your disciples - how else would they have known? Can I put words on my own temptations, the weaknesses or wickedness that draw me in particular? Can I see my temptations as you did, against the backdrop of the vocation to which you call me?
- Jesus, like Moses before him, retreats into the wilderness where he fasts for forty days. Each temptation involves a seizure of power: power over the elements of creation by turning stones into bread, political and military power by gaining power over the kingdoms of the world, and the power to force God's protection in an inappropriate manner. That Jesus was tested throughout his ministry was widely held in early Christianity. The Letter to the Hebrews tells us, "For do we not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathise with out weakness, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin."
Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read.
What part of it strikes a chord in you?
Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently -
will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness.
If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.
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