In this reflection on Jesus’ temptation in the desert (Luke 4:1-13) taken from our Lent calendar, Catherine from our Theology team considers the dark shadow that hunger can cast on people’s lives.
Based on the gospel for Sunday 10 March – Luke 4:1-13
“During that time he ate nothing and at the end he was hungry.”
Jesus knew what it was like to go hungry. He fasted in the desert for forty days.
There he was tempted by the devil who offered him food, then power and glory, and then the chance to put God to the test. Jesus resisted.
We all know a little about feeling hungry. How it can make us feel shaky and weak, lead us to make poor decisions or become emotional.
For some of us, that hunger is temporary. Quickly sated by the next snack or meal.
For many though, hunger is an ever-present concern. A dark shadow looms as they wonder when they will next be able to eat.
“Some days I go without food”
In Bangladesh, Mahinur works hard to provide for her son and husband who have disabilities. They have no land to grow food. She used to fish but the river dried up last year and the fish have not returned.
Mahinur does what she can to feed the family, but it is not enough. “Some days I go without food. When I had no work, I was so hungry.”
She clutches her stomach. “When we have no food in the house, sometimes my son goes to the neighbours and other people feed him. On days like that, my husband doesn’t eat. It’s very difficult for us.”
Share the hunger of others
As we fast this Lent, following Jesus’ example in the desert, we remember that everything we have comes from God.
As we feel hunger, let us take time to step back and consider how we can help others, especially those like Mahinur who are hungry.
Christ Jesus, you know what it is to feel hungry and alone. Open my eyes to my brothers and sisters who will not eat today, and fill me with compassion, so that I may reach out to them in love. Amen