February 18, 2018: First Sunday of Lent
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 good news.” (Mark 1:12-15)
Jesus was tempted by Satan and the angels ministered to him. Jesus was among the wild beasts and the angels ministered to him. While our winter weather may not feel like we are in a desert, we are certainly surrounded by “wild beasts” — our personal and family situations, our local and national news, the weather forecasts, our daily chores and financial worries, our children and grandchildren we care for may even seem like “wild beasts” at times. But we always have the assurance that our God is with us. The same angels that ministered to Jesus in the desert are surrounding us. This was the covenant given by God to his people after the flood.
May we always remember, “Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.”
We are beginning Lent. This year rather than “give something up,” resolve to say grace at each meal. Why? As Pope Francis mentions in his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, “That moment of meal blessing, however brief, reminds us of our dependence on God for life; it strengthens our feeling of gratitude for the gifts of creation” (227).