The Spirit leads Jesus into the desert after his baptism to be tested by the devil. This highlights two important aspects of faith. First, recall that one of Lent’s twofold characters is baptismal (see “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,” 109). Lent is the final period of conversion for catechumens ready to be baptized at Easter.
The catechumenate process is an initiation. Yet our language often implies that baptism is a graduation, an end to the journey of faith. This often leads to lack of attention to the ongoing formation needs and support of adults after baptism or to delaying sacraments to keep people engaged in the church.Baptism is a commencement of our mission to live our faith in the world, a mission just beginning in the baptismal waters. Click To Tweet
Initiation is not the end to conversion, as if saying “I do believe” completes our work, for Jesus’s temptations happened after his baptism. Baptism is a commencement of our mission to live our faith in the world, a mission just beginning in the baptismal waters.
Second, the Spirit we first receive at baptism will lead us to places we will not want to go: into the desert of our inadequacies, the dizzying heights of our insecurities, the loneliness of our self-sufficiency. But our hope and strength lie in the consolation of knowing that Jesus, too, faced these temptations and now stands by our side daily in ours. Even in our weakness, God does not abandon us.