Gospel: FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT
Mark 1: 12-15
“The Spirit immediately drove Jesus 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.”
Journeying with the Gospel Steps:
1. We read the Gospel passage several times to become familiar with the past event it describes. Where it took place? When it took place. Who was involved? What happened back then?
2. In Meditation we allow the passage to put us in touch with similar events in our lives and in our world today, in our personal relationships, in family life, workplace, in church community, society or world – until we come to see God’s presence and activity to be as real in “today’s events” as in the “past events,
3. Spontaneously we are moved to a prayer of thanksgiving, or repentance or petition or all three.
“The Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan;” In your family life, can you remember an event that would dramatically affect your life, and in an instant, everything changed- nothing would ever be the same again. (It may have been the sudden death of a loved one, diagnosis of terminal illness, financial crisis, life changing injury, unexpected exam results, unfaithfulness, unplanned pregnancy…)
Were you driven into a wilderness, wandering aimlessly for “forty days”, feeling helpless and abandoned, being tempted to despair at the situation? Who were the “angels” who “waited on you” and helped you through at the time? Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for these people and for seeing this gospel alive in your life today.
“…. tempted by Satan” Identify a time of temptation – for power, greed, pride, anger, jealously, infidelity, dishonesty, bribery etc. – and unable or unwilling to resist you gave in to the temptation – Satan was victorious. Recall how you felt at that time. Perhaps you still carry this in your heart.
Jesus says to you. “Repent and believe…” During Lent, seek God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This is a time to turn around, come back, experience God’s mercy.
“….and the angels ministered to him.” You are a member of a family. Take time to reflect on your family – is it happy, loving, faith filled, or is it broken, shunned, facing illness, abandonment or abuse. Reflect on the times when the “angels” in your family have ministered to you – provided for your needs, forgiven, supported, and loved you. Perhaps you have never felt loved or supported within your family. Perhaps you are the “angel” in the family or at this time need to be an angel – to forgive, visit, love, change. Take time to pray for your family and all families, especially those in need of healing.