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Perhaps his capacity to heal as a fully human being came from this time in the desert.

S2:E10 EPISODE SUMMARY

Adam and Lindsey unmask Jesus from exclusive theology and violent cultural lenses. But, during Covid times, Jesus would wear a mask! Loving others as Jesus loves us requires us to wear a mask too.

Good news; it’s Lent!

What, Lent doesn’t sound like good news to you?

Actually, we’re not sure if Jesus considered it “good news” either when, just after his Baptism, “the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.” In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus isn’t gently “led,” but “driven.” Whether he likes it or not, he’s going out alone into the wild.

But he has just received good news – the best news ever, actually. “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Those are the last words he hears before he goes into the wilderness, and they will sustain him all the way through.

Mark doesn’t elaborate on Jesus’s temptations as other Gospels do. So how does Satan tempt Jesus? Perhaps the temptation is to doubt what he has just been told: that he is Beloved. Maybe the temptation is to flee from the desert and prove he is loved, seeking validation from the world instead of knowing it deep within himself. 

Jesus is in the wilderness with the “wild beasts.” No shelter, no food… and yet he emerges unscathed. The beasts are tame in his presence. Is this a miracle? Is it a foreshadowing of the harmonious living that comes when we all know we are loved as Jesus is loved?

Forty days in the wilderness with wild beasts – we recall Noah’s journey on the ark. The whole world was re-built in forty days.

Perhaps a new world is being built within Jesus too. He is testing his faith in being loved. He must believe he is loved when he is poor, when he suffers the heat of the day and the chill of the night without shelter, when his belly aches… 

And that experience of solidarity with the poor, homeless and hungry sharpens his compassion. He probably becomes more aware, on an intuitive level, on a heart level, of God’s love for the whole world. So when he begins his ministry, he has more of himself to give. Perhaps his capacity to heal as a fully human being came from this time in the desert.

This year especially, isolated and anxious because of this Global pandemic, we are all in our own wildernesses. So, while Lent calls us to follow Jesus, this year especially, we can see that Lent is Jesus coming into our own wildernesses to meet us.

Jesus meets us in the deserts of our hearts, in the dark corners of our souls, and as we walk with Him, we exercise and strengthen our trust in the truth that we are loved.

And that is good news indeed.

The Olive
Branch

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