Sunday, February 21

Mark 1:12-15

At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Reflections on today's Gospel

- The early verses of Mark’s gospel herald the beginning of a totally new path to salvation.  John the Baptizer preached that the One who would fulfill the promises of God was coming and he made straight the path for the Lord.  Jesus is introduced onto the stage of history as the leader of God’s New People (Moses having been his forerunner).  But first (echoing the case of Moses) there comes a secluded communing while, in the wilderness, Jesus is taken into the care of heaven’s God. There, ‘tempted by Satan’, he comes through a testing totally unscathed.

 

Jesus is now ready to go into battle with the forces of darkness: urging the people to repent and to turn aside from all the evil that was so prevalent in their hearts.

- What spirit drives me in the things I do? Is my heart a home for the Spirit? Could the Holy Spirit be inviting me to take more quiet space? In the bible, the ‘wilderness’ is a place of revelation and of intimacy with God. I need to put secondary things aside to meet God. He is found in states when we feel emptiness as well as in fullness. 

 

- As Lent begins, create that quiet desert dwelling for yourself and God each day.   Let the kingdom come near to you. It is how we come to believe more deeply in the good news.