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22 February 2015

Read today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 1. 9-15

No sooner is Jesus assured, at his Baptism, of his identity as the beloved and well-pleasing Son of his Father God, than he is driven by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, for what would be a time of self-denial and testing. A time of deciding who comes first: God, self or masters of the under-world.

It has happened so often in my life that times of spiritual vision and insight have been followed by times of severe testing and times of prayer at their hardest. Oh how I have felt my prayers were like shouting in a concrete bucket!

I have found comfort in knowing that Jesus was tested to the utmost in the wilderness, and was led there by the Holy Spirit, after the heavenly voice and the descent of the Holy Spirit had assured him that he was God’s dearly beloved Son. Beloved Son of God, yet just as liable to temptation as anyone else, and just as dependent in his struggles on God’s word and the Holy Spirit.  Jesus emerges from these experiences confident that God comes first and that his mission is to make God’s saving love visible.

God teaches us important lessons in the good times, in the times of inspiration as well as in the desert and desolate places where we discover that God is the one holding onto us.

Let us pray in the Holy Spirit; and 'keep ourselves in the boundary of God’s love where he can bless us'. (Jude 21).

 

Today’s Gospel Reading is Mark 1. 9-15

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for 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.’