Weekend Reflections for 2/16/18
Jesus Begins His Public Ministry
What happens when Jesus makes the crucial decision to begin preaching about the kingdom of God. He leaves his lifelong home at Nazareth, and goes to meet John the Baptist. Jesus is baptized and is consoled to hear his Father confirms that he is indeed proceeding in the right way. In different ways the Scriptures also indicate that Jesus after his baptism spent some time with John and his disciples. When you think about it, there was so much for him to learn: how to gather disciples, how to preach and deal with those who come to listen to you, how to support this kind of ministry.
But as today’s gospel tells us, the Spirit of God eventually leads Jesus to the desert— Mark actually says “drives” him to the desert, where he can be alone, reflect and pray. He needs to consider and plan so many things: what he is about to do, how and when he’s going to do it. And it is in in the midst of this very important, crucial and difficult time that the spirit of evil interrupts trying to subvert, confuse and misdirect him in all of this.
We see how much Jesus, except for sin, is like us in all things, even in being tempted. For me it is important to notice when this occurs. He has just received John’s baptism, His Father spoken to him in a special way approving of his manner of proceeding, and now he is spending much time in fasting and prayer. It is then that the enemy interrupts and tries to turn him away from the manner in which God has been leading him.
How often in moments which I thought should be most sacred and holy has the “unholy” tried to break in, upset my peace, turn me aside from the way in which God has been leading me. Sometimes just having such thoughts causes one to reflect what a terrible and worthless person I am. How disgusting of me to have such thoughts or perhaps how presumptuous am I to have such aspirations or plans. On such occasions it is often very important to review all of this with a spiritual director or companion/guide.