Gospel Reflections

1st Sunday of Lent

Mark 1:12-15

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Gerry Bolzan

Published: February 18, 2018

“The Spirit sent Jesus out toward the desert.”  This Gospel brings us a very interesting interplay between Jesus and the Spirit – and also his relationship to the desert.  Was Jesus, who was fresh from the waters of his baptism and the hearing of the message of affirmation from above, expecting the Spirit to drive him into the desert? Is this how I would choose to begin a new mission?  What is it that the desert has to offer?  Perhaps it is a bit similar to the darkness referred to by Judy Cannato in her book, Radical Amazement.  She states: “Life is a Mystery shrouded in darkness.  But the darkness is fecund, a place of possibility and power.” Surely Jesus was in touch with the Spirit during these days, allowing them to bring forth goodness, light and power.

For Noah, his days on the Ark, must also have been a kind of “darkness” as he waited for new life to emerge.  But what an abundance of life came forth to meet him!  And we cannot forget the rainbow!

Julie also reminds us:  “Days of darkness are, perhaps, our best and happiest days for glorifying the good God.”  Patience, waiting, listening, opening up, letting go of preconceived ideas and plans…these are some of the challenges which the Lenten journey offers me.  They do require an openness to the Spirit.  Jesus embraces his desert experience and comes forth saying: “This is the time of fulfilment…reform your lives and believe the good news!”   May I/we be able to open ourselves to the Spirit as we hope for and trust in this good news!



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