Lillie-667471: ‘That Longing Remains’


By Lillie-667471

Forty days in the wilderness. Forty days without food or drink. Forty days alone.

I’ve often wondered what was the hardest part was for Jesus – the temptations, the hunger or thirst, the total solitude.

For me, Lent involves a bit of all three: the temptation to give in and sneak some meat on a Friday; fasting from my favorite desserts; giving up meals on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

And then there’s the solitude. I’ve been single for the last three years, and that desire to share my life – my joys, my struggles, my God – with someone has only increased over the years.

Working in the field of youth ministry, I often think about how nice it would be to come home after a long day with the teens and share with my husband how God was at work that day, or about how confused I am, or just to ask for prayers.

I’m grateful to have some incredible friends and a supportive family, and I know that my solitude is nothing like Jesus’. Nevertheless, that longing remains.

For Jesus – a man and God of intense relationships – I’m prone to think that the solitude was the worst.  Did He miss His mother and father? Did he long for the company and laughter of the disciples?

Yet amidst those longings, Jesus had the most intimate relationship with God the Father, bonded by the Holy Spirit, and it was this relationship that sustained Him. He clung to the Father in prayer, offering up each day (and down the road, His very death) as an expression of His love and service.

This is what Lent is about for me. Whatever temptation, whatever deprivation, whatever loneliness I may feel, I want those things to push me closer into the embrace of my Father. Without that, an increased dependence on God, it’s all for naught.

Forty days in the wilderness. Forty days without food or drink. Forty days alone. A cross of wood and the sins of the world. That is how much Jesus loves me. By God’s grace and strength, may my own temptations, fasting, and solitude be a witness of my love for Him in return.

And as we move into the Easter season, may this love continue to grow with the joy of Christ’s Resurrection. He is risen, and thus, we are never alone.

Reflection question: How do you celebrate Christ’s resurrection?

Editor’s note

Read more Lenten reflections written by CatholicMatch members:


1 Comment »

  1. Kevin-92547 April 28, 2011 Reply

    Great Lenten post, Lillie.

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