1st Sunday: Jesus Holds On, So We Hold On


We encounter our demons, like Jesus, as we journey through our lives … alone, but for the Lord, who never lets us go.

By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.

The desert is a metaphor for our own struggles with the demons that confront us as we insist on seeking our true freedom.

What an apt metaphor!

Barren, hot, endless, the desert is absent the things we want and need: water, people, food, comfort.

It has no distractions.

No trees, no grass, no water. Nothing seems familiar.

(I spent a week in the desert of Mt. Sinai. It felt like nothing but MILES & MILES OF HOT SAND.)

We must face ourselves … and our demons.

Jesus’ encounter with the devil in the desert reminds us that overcoming temptation is hard.

We struggle to put our addictions, anger, unforgiveness, greed and lust behind us.

Like Christ, we pray we will persevere.

But if it takes Jesus 3 times to send the devil away, how much more difficult will it be for us?

Our hope is in Jesus’ loving assistance and persistence. He holds on, so we hold on.

Together, with Jesus, we will overcome our demons … and become who we are called to become.

One dark night

Fired by love’s urgent longings

Ah, the sheer grace

I went out unseen

My house being now all stilled.  

– John of the Cross

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