Mark 1: 12 – 15
First Sunday of Lent – Sister Edna Maier, SNDdeN
February 21, 2021
Oh Blessed Beginning! “Lent” = “Springtime”: a time for another walk with Jesus, another glimpse into His Gift of the Spirit, and a renewed awareness that in any form of Satan’s temptation, we do not stand alone. Jesus is with us, freeing us from any nearby beasts and blessing us as He was blessed by angels!
When I think of a possible desert that faces us and tempts us today, I am somewhat overcome by our newly fashioned pandemic. Who could ever have imagined the length of its lingering, or being stuck inside our homes for days and weeks at a time, or being so un-free to come and go, and being able to wonder and only to wander in our imaginations? Who could ever have predicted the number of early deaths that would send loved ones to their heavenly homes?
Remembering these deserts of our time as well as our scripture desert of today’s gospel, I’d like to share some deepened thoughts of past scholars:
St. John Chrysostom: The Spirit drags Jesus into the desert since Jesus wanted to draw the devil there, knowing that the devil attacks when he sees people isolated by themselves.
Mary Healy: As Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden, Jesus is driven out into the desert.
Rev. Francis Moloney, SDB: In the Genesis story Satan’s victory over Adam led
to hostility and fear. In the Markan story that situation is reversed. He is with
the wild beasts. Jesus’ coming has restored the original order of God’s creation.
Rev. John Justus Landsberg: The Lord desires his disciples to find comfort in his own example. Reading in the Gospel that Christ too was tempted by the devil immediately after he was baptized, they will not grow fainthearted in their own temptations.
As we ponder the experts and their shared blessings, we perhaps will find special solace in the words of a favorite hymn: Spirit Seeking Light and Beauty.
Spirit Seeking Light and Beauty
Heart that longest for thy rest,
Soul that asketh Understanding,
Only thus can ye be blest:
Taste and see Him, Feel and hear Him,
Hope and grasp His unseen hand.
Though the darkness seem to hide Him,
Faith and Love can understand.
Through the vastness of creation
Though your restless thoughts may roam,
God is all that you can long for.
God is all His creature’s home.
Mark 1: 12 – 15
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.
After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
The Gospel of the Lord
Meet Sister Edna Maier, SNDdeN