The Desert Experience

Today we hear in Mark’s Gospel Jesus is sent by the Holy Spirit into the Desert and we know much more than Mark shares with us from the other Gospel writers. Jesus will be tempted by pride, avarice, and hunger. We also know he will be protected by the Angels, but not only that; He is protected by his faith in his Father.

This should give us the same assurance as we journey through our desert Lenten experience. If God allowed Jesus to be tempted and I am made in his image and lIkeness I should expect to experience the same as I go through these forty days. Can I learn from Jesus that my Angel is always by my side ? Can I trust in faith, and believe and hope that when I am tempted I can have the same faith in God that Jesus did? In the times we live in today, and in light of recent events this week especially those in Florida, it is certainly a time of testing of our faith and we ask where is God? I know my faith at times of suffering is challenged when I see unjust violence and I see the faces of the victims and their families. But I also know God cries and is saddened by the way Humans waste their freedom and hurt others in the process. Who knows what caused this young man to take an assault weapon and hurt so many. I have no answers to that, although many have opinions, all I can do is go to God who bears the cross with us .

St. John of the Cross has given me much to ponder , he tells us a feeling of dryness( or God’s felt presence not being experienced by feelings) does not prove God’s absence. And a feeling of holy warmth does not prove his presence. So, what will help if we can’t feel it or experience it? It is holding on to the same faith, and hope that Jesus held on to in the desert. It is in understanding of God’s power less clearly. This is the time ¬†when we are coming actually closer to Him. So the less we understand and the more we question the closer we get to God..We must believe, hope, love and know God does his best work in the dark in the desert.

May these forty days be time of increasing faith , hope and belief in the God who loves us beyond all imaginings.! Let us unite in prayer for all those carrying heavy crosses, temptations and sufferings this week.

Your Sister who is on the journey with you, Diane