First Sunday of Lent
Taking the Gospel to prayer
Interestingly, the Gospel begins without the first two words of the sentence...at once. These two words attach the text to the preceding story of Jesus' baptism by John. Jesus has just heard "a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” All who were at the river heard God's voice. He is now compelled to go to the desert where He will prepare to undertake His mission of announcing the "time of fulfillment."
Mark's version of the story doesn't go into details about Jesus' experience in the desert. It does illustrate, however, the example that we need to follow. Though He did not give in to the enticements of the devil, Jesus was tempted. In His desert experience, He teaches us how to resist temptation. Sometimes we know that the right way to handle something is going to be a challenge. We may be tempted with an easier though sinful alternative. Jesus showed us how to stay true to the difficult road and turn away from the shortcut.
Since He was without sin, Jesus didn't need the discipline of the desert experience for repentance. Yet He undertook the experience to show us how to live. What can we learn today from His example that will help us to deeper spiritual growth this Lent? What temptation do we need to reject?