Wednesday of the First Week of Lent
The desert is not only dry, barren, and a place of solitude, it is also hot. The desert’s dry heat takes a toll on the body and dehydrates it. As the sun rises, the temperature rises, and there is little one can do in the desert to find relief.
One human quality that would be essential for Jesus to possess in order to endure the sun and the heat for forty days is patient endurance. Just imagine the sun coming up each day and producing an unbearably scorching heat. The dry heat would bring thirst, and possibly dehydration. The sun would set at the end of the day, and the cycle would begin again the next day, for forty consecutive days.
Jesus permitted Himself to endure this cycle of daily exposure to severe heat as a way of endowing human nature with the supernatural gift of patient endurance. Day in and day out, for forty days in a row, Jesus bestowed upon human nature the ability to endure great suffering and discomfort. In doing so, He makes it possible for you to share in His strength of endurance every time you face what appears to be an unbearable situation, especially when such a situation goes on and on, day after day. The gift of this supernatural endurance is the only remedy.
Ponder the real human experience of daily exposure to heat that Jesus endured. Ponder His human body suffering in this way to manifest, in His human nature, the supernatural gift of patient endurance. As you do, ponder also your own need for this gift. What is it that burdens you? What seems unbearable at times? Know that every grace you need to patiently endure every hardship was won by our Lord in the desert and is waiting to be bestowed upon you.
My Lord of perfect endurance, You bore the heat of the desert day in and day out. As You did, You made it possible for all who share in Your human nature to receive the strength You had in the face of this hardship. When it is Your divine will that I bear some heavy burden out of love for You and others, please grant me the supernatural gift of patient endurance so that I can more fully imitate You in the desert. Jesus, I trust in You.