Sophia (Buono) Martinson ‘18

I always find it amazing that Jesus, the Son of God, decided to fast and pray for 40 days in the desert before beginning his public ministry. As the living Word of God, he had no need to prepare for a life a preaching. Nevertheless, he experienced the ache of an empty stomach, the dryness of a parched throat, and the allure of temptations from the devil. And during those same 40 days, he also experienced the consoling accompaniment of his angels.

In this gospel passage, I think Jesus is reminding us that he wants to be close to us, and that we should imitate him. Here he teaches us that prayer must fuel our actions. Prayer is never a waste of time. In fact, it is the best use of our time, since it brings us closer to God and helps us open ourselves to do God’s will. In our times of prayer, we will encounter the same challenges Jesus faced—physical or mental distractions and various temptations. Just as the angels accompanied Jesus, though, God’s grace never fails to accompany us.

When we are formed by a practice of quiet prayer, we will be moved to join Jesus in going out to spread “the good news of God,” which is the wonderful news that God wants to reign in our hearts. We can imitate him in sharing this news in seemingly small ways, such as listening to our friends and talking with them about God’s action in our lives.

The best way to prepare for that mission is to unite ourselves to God in prayer. Then God’s grace of God can inspire us as we go out and spread the Gospel.