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Mark 1:12-15

The Word of God

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news".

Mark 1:12-15
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The early verses of Mark’s gospel herald the beginning of a totally new epoch of salvation (with the figure of John the Baptist poised before its threshold). 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 darkness of the Evil One – as manifested in sin, in sickness, in demonic possession.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • 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. God is found in emptiness as well as in fullness. I can find him in the emptiness of sickness and old age and disappointment and failure and solitude.
    • As Lent begins I might promise God that I will be faithful to the quiet space and time that Sacred Space offers me. I want the kingdom of God to come near me. I want to believe more deeply in the good news.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Only a God could be so human as to endure temptation. Mark’s gospel depicts Jesus as divine but also deeply human. He enters the wilderness for one purpose only: to find God, to seek God and to belong to him totally. Only then does he come into Galilee and proclaim good news.
    • Lord, come with me into my wilderness. Speak to my preoccupied heart. Reveal to me where addiction to power, possession and gratification choke my path. Only when I am free from these can I be good news to others. Only then do I become part of the solution to the world’s problems.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • I too have known times of temptation when I felt on my own except for the wild beasts, the irrational forces that were messing up my life. Lord, you felt the influence of evil, and were tested. You were purified as you came through a difficult time. When I was in the middle of such a time, it did not feel like God's hand, but like desolation and despair. When I look back, I can see how God was shaping me
    • The wilderness is the place of destruction and danger, of being tempted off one's path and also of meeting God. Jesus finds God's path for him in the wilderness. Prayer is a wilderness time. It can be dangerous for it brings us in touch with the evil as well as with the good in ourselves. With practice, it introduces us to the peace of God in Christ - the harmony of the desert of Jesus. It is also the place of rededication to God and of finding the strength of God.