While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many began to believe in his name
when they saw the signs he was doing. But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well. - John 2:23-25
We’re well on our way through Lent and I find that this is the week when our human nature starts to get the best of us. The promises we made at the beginning of Lent are easy to uphold for a week or two, almost even fun! But then it gets boring… this whole becoming holy thing.
It’s one thing to give up bad habits for a season of Lent, only to embrace them or, for some, indulge in them the moment Easter Sunday rolls around. It’s an entirely different scenario to use Lent as a time to readjust our lives with the purpose of continuing our Lenten practices year round. But if Lent is about returning to God and becoming holy, shouldn’t our Lenten practices actually continue throughout the year? It may be difficult to imagine at this moment as we struggle our way through the desert. How could we possibly stay in the desert for the rest of the year?
As we struggle through the desert, our Sunday Gospel reading reminds us that Jesus knew our human nature well. Let us not forget that He, too, was fully human. We are not alone. As you stumble, remember that He understands your human nature. He is merciful. If you need an extra push to keep going, remember that He walked this path, too. You follow in His footsteps.
Remind yourself of your goal: returning to God, holiness. And not just for this season, but for the entire year. If that seems unbearable, know that setting routines in the season of Lent makes it easier. Hopefully by the end of this season, the desert seems a little bit easier to bear… our temptations quieter, our thirst more bearable, our stomachs smaller, our desire for holiness increased, our hearts more at peace.