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Key words and phrases: Spirit drove, desert, tempted by Satan, proclaiming the gospel of God, This is the time
To the point: There is an urgency to Mark's depiction of Jesus' experience in the desert—the Spirit drives Jesus into the desert. What happened there? Jesus grappled with being “tempted by Satan,” and in this he embraced fully the human reality of struggling to be faithful. Jesus left the desert ready to begin his ministry of proclaiming “the gospel of God.” Jesus had faced his own “this is the time” and said yes. Lent is our desert time to come to saying a fuller yes to God.
To the First Reading: In the covenant with Noah God says yes to us and all of creation (see First Reading). Lent is a time to renew our yes to God and deepen our fidelity to our baptismal covenant (see Second Reading).
To Experience: Our tendency is to put off dealing with difficult, uncomfortable, challenging tasks. We often need a push to get going. Lent is the push: “This is the time.”