Scripture reading reflection

Scripture Reading Reflection
By Fr. Andrew Kelly
FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT — FEB. 22, 2015
The Season of Lent is when God’s Holy Spirit drives the believing community into the wilderness for 40 days just as the Holy Spirit did to Jesus in Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 1:12-15).
The wilderness is a place of testing. However the beauty of the wilderness is that believers are never alone as Jesus was never alone. Just as the Holy Spirit did with Jesus, the Holy Spirit stays with believers and never abandons.
Thus believers can face the demons, painful as it may be, that tempt them away from Jesus’ ways. According to Mark’s Gospel, Jesus was also so tested but was never abandoned by God’s Holy Spirit.
The wilderness is also the place of deepening intimacy with God. God, symbolized by angels, waits upon and ministers to the believers. The relationship becomes that intimate, just as it was with Jesus.
The wilderness then becomes a place of renewal, well-being and peace. This is symbolized by Jesus being with the wild beasts. Creation is again made whole with all relationships reconciled.
Hopefully and prayerfully believers are looking forward to the beauty of the next 40 days in the wilderness led and guided by God’s Holy Spirit.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)

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