Gospel – 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.”
Reflection on the Gospel
Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God.
In today’s Gospel, we are told Jesus goes out into the desert for forty days to fast. He leaves everything and everyone behind. He literally abandons himself to the desert – to the place of isolation and desolation.
I am struck by the Gospel’s account of Jesus in the desert: “He was among wild beasts, and the Angels ministered unto Him.”
Jesus, as a human being, must have been afraid of the many creatures of the barren desert. Not just wild beasts, but imagine how harsh of a climate Christ must have endured during those infamous desert nights! Yet, we are told, that “Angels” ministered unto him. Angels are literally “messengers,” bearing messages from the Divine. Traditionally, Christians throughout history have imagined that Angels from on high brought Jesus food and drink during His time in the desert.
As I reflect on today’s Gospel, I can’t help but imagine, that besides literal Angels from Heaven coming to aid Jesus, I imagine Bedouin Caravans with all their camels and children coming to give Jesus a cup of water. I imagine mere strangers – who have lost their own path to their destinations – taking pity on Jesus and sharing what little they had with Him.
The barren desert wasteland takes no pity on anyone or anything within its borders. In the desert, we find vulnerability to the elements of nature. It comes as no surprise that before Jesus would start His preaching of the Kingdom of God, He would prepare Himself in such a place.
In my own reflections, I believe this is the spirit that animates Lent, and the spirit in which the Church wishes us to reflect. It is a spirit of vulnerability, of placing ourselves within the “deserts” of our lives, and approaching life with a sense of wonderment and curiosity. In confronting the “wild beasts” of our lives during this Season of Lent, we may be blessed to see the many “angels” that minister to us!
- Do I make time for myself (even if it’s 5 minutes) to step into my “desert?”
- What “wild beasts” do I encounter there?
- Who are the “Angels” that minister to me in my life?
- How could I be an Angel to someone experiencing their own “wild beasts?”
Brother Dan Monroe
Postulant, Midwest District (RELAN)
I’m so grateful for the witness and example of my parents. As teachers, they both exemplified the beauty of the vocation of being an Educator and I was attracted to this. Thus, on the advice of my spiritual director, I came to find out about the Lasallian Volunteers. As a Lasallian Volunteer, I served as a Social Studies teacher. Through this experience, I was able to live with the Brothers and gain insight into their lifestyle.
Through much prayer and discernment, I decided to explore further the call of God as an Educator in the context of Religious life with the Brothers. Now in my Postulancy, I can say, like St. John Baptist De La Salle, I am awed at how God has led me from one thing to another!
St. John Baptist de La Salle — Pray for us.
Live Jesus in Our Hearts — Forever!