“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.”

Mark 1:12-13

 

Monday, 22 February 2021

Mark 1:12-13

It’s amazing that Mark treats the temptations of the Lord in such a brief manner, taking two sentences to do what the other gospel writers treat in eleven verses. With such scanty details on the temptations of Jesus, the scriptures invite us to reflect on our temptations, our own time in the wilderness.

At some point in our lives, we all end up in the wilderness, in the desert, where we face not Satan, but ourselves, our own weakness, our own brokenness. In the desert of our failure, we are forced to confront ourselves and acknowledge our weaknesses. Like Jesus, when we face our temptations and failures, we can emerge from the encounter strengthened. This is because we also encounter God in our wilderness. We meet the God who loves us, who heals and forgives us. We discover the God who reminds us that even in our deepest desolation, we have not been alone, that he has been there walking beside us and sometimes even carrying us on his shoulders.

In his time in the wilderness, Jesus learnt truths about himself, his God, and his relationship with God. It was only in facing and overcoming his temptations that Jesus was able to be who he truly was and to accept his mission from the father.

Loving God,

We pray today for the courage to face our own wilderness moments and the grace to find you there

Amen.

 
Fr Bruce Botha SJ

Fr Bruce Botha SJ was born in Durban, KZN. He received a diploma in education from the University of Natal and then taught physical science for 4 years at Scottburgh High School. He joined the Society of Jesus and did his noviciate in Cape Town. He then studied philosophy in London and theology in Berkeley, California. Between philosophy and theology, in the period of formation known as regency, he worked as the director of counselling for an HIV research centre. After ordination in 2006 he worked in Holy Trinity, Braamfontein and is currently the parish priest of St Martin de Porres, Orlando West and Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation for the Archdiocese of Johannesburg.

b.botha@jesuitinstitute.org.za
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