40 days. Forty days that you have been walking through this desert. Forty days that you have been sacrificing. Forty days of change and challenge. Forty days. Forty days that you thought you might be walking alone. Forty days that you felt like you were dying of thirst. Forty days to feel rejuvenated. Forty days to surrender in the Lord. Forty days to walk side by side with the Lord.
You see, you aren’t the only one on this path through Lent. You aren’t the only one that has been walking through the desert being tempted. You aren’t alone. Jesus, the Lamb, has been walking with you everyday because He has come down to be one of us. The Lamb has kept up with you step-by-step, stumble-by-stumble. He was standing right next to you when that piece of chocolate was sitting in front you. He was standing right next to you as you hit your snooze button instead of going to mass this morning. He was there. But you see, He didn’t stand there screaming at you, “NOOOOOO!!!!!” He wanted to be there with you, he wanted to help you; he wanted to pick you up when you fell.
One of my favorite pictures is of the lamb around the Shepherd’s shoulders. The story behind this is that the Lamb keeps wandering off and trying to do his own thing, much like us sometimes. To teach the Lamb that he needs to follow the shepherd, He breaks his leg and carries Him, so the lamb is then dependent on he Shepherd. We are called too, in this desert, be dependent on Him. Because it is only in Him and with Him that we can get through the desert.
Though harshly treated, he submitted and did not open his mouth; like a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep silent before shearers, he did not open his mouth
Even though we fall down, even though the desert is desolate and barren, and even though this desert of Lent is a struggle, we sometimes need to be carried. The Lord pushed on with us. Even though the Lord knew what was to come. He pushed on. He kept walking with us, and continues to walk with us now. He is the Lamb being led to the slaughter- never complaining or protesting. But accepting because of the end reward. Accepting because He loves us. Accepting because He would do anything for us, including dying for us.