And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.--Mark 1.13
Desolate place, that is what's behind the Greek word for wilderness.
As in scarcity
This isn't Milk-and-Honey Promise
This is Dog-eat-dog world, survival of the fittest,
Ravenous beasts scouring the land for prey
Mark brings us into the desert with nary a word about how Satan tempts and Jesus parries.
Mark keeps it simple, to the point. And there is enough here to transform us.
Confessions of a Transformational Pastor. As I type this out I have this urge, this strong urge to fill the page up with stuff from Jean Paul Sartre, pack today's reading with illustrations from the Aguilas Del Desierto, to throw in some quotes from Henri Nouwen, to introduce the first parabolic imagination and to lay out the beasts and angels diagram.
Then I look at Mark.
"And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him."
So in the spirit of Mark's words, I leave you with this: God does his greatest work of transformation on you, in the presence of the wild beasts. Not in their absence. And the presence of the beasts cannot thwart the presence of the Holy Angels. There are beasts. There are angels. Here. Now.
CHREIA OF ACTION
- Conversation. Have a conversation with Cleopas about where there just not enough______.
- Reflection. What terrain of your life is experiencing scarcity? Identify a beast in that terrain. Identify an angel in that terrain. Thank God for the strength to face the beast. Thank God for the angel. If it's a person, text them and let them know.
- Prayer. Pray a Lectio Divina of Mark 1:12-13.