Our Time of Fulfillment
By Selena Rangel
This Sunday’s Gospel ( Mark 1:12-15) kicks off our Lenten season. The Gospel quickly leads us into the desert of temptation and begins our reflection upon what we must overcome to stay close to our God. We begin to see how Jesus struggles and battles against Satan in order to return to proclaim that the “time of fulfillment” has come. We are all reminded that we must “repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Even so, it is the first words that caught my attention.
The Spirit drove Jesus…
It dawned on me that it was not Jesus who entered the desert of his own will, but he was actually forced to begin his journey. This reading shows the innately human side of Jesus, how he may not have wanted to begin, but obeyed when he was summoned. Although he was driven into the desert, it was of his own will that he remained and lasted through the temptations.
I think that God may do the same to us sometimes. He sends his Holy Spirit down to push us, to force us to deal with obstacles that we may have normally turned away from. But these very struggles we later see as some of our greatest accomplishments and rewards in life. It is with great faith and hope that Jesus survives his time in the desert. We must do the same; we must focus on our God when we see that “wild beasts” are among us, and instead see how the angels minister to us. Let your Lenten journey be a true voyage, let it be filled with ups and downs, but know that our God is with us with every step waiting for us to reach our “time of fulfillment.”