Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Temptation of Jesus [February 26, 2012]

The Sunday Gospel [February 26, 2012]

Mark 1:12-15

12At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert, 13and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.14After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: 15 “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”


“This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” ~ Jesus in v. 15

In contrast with Matthew and Luke, Mark has a short account of the temptations: Jesus is in the desert, he is among wild beasts, and angels minister to him. Mark clearly parallels Jesus with Adam, the desert with the Garden of Eden. The first man – Adam- wanted to be “like God” and ate of the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He ended up seeing he was “naked” and was thrown out of paradise. Nature – earth’s vegetation and animals – turned against him.

The second Adam – Jesus – does not cling to his equality with God: rather he embraces the low state of humanity. But in so doing, he achieves reconciliation and peace with God and creatures. The desert – the opposite image of the garden – becomes a place of reconciliation and healing. Wild beasts which concretize the threat of creation to man turn friendly to Jesus, becoming man’s friends. Man and beast become friends once more; once again they are in Paradise. The peace which Isaiah prophesied for the messianic age finds fulfillment: “the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them” (Isaiah 11:6). Creation’s fate is tied up with human beings. When man’s harmony with God is restored, creation once more becomes the dwelling place of peace. Until such time when mankind is taken up by Christ to God, “creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God” (Romans 8:19).

The temptation of Jesus is also our very own. Jesus has entered into the “perils” of our humanity and has come out victorious precisely because he relied on God, on God’s word. The devil does not tempt us to abandon God and to believe in him – that is too ghastly a thought. The devil tells us that we need not prioritize God; we can accomplish our purpose through the reasonable and organized ways of the world. And we can rely on ourselves.

Reflection Credits: Fr. Gil A. Alinsangan, SSP; On the Way of the Cross, excerpts

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at

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