Following Jesus into the desert…

For 3 weeks now I haven’t been able to go to Sunday Mass because of the crappy winter weather. The week started off gloomy, cold, and icy, and the forecast for the next few days don’t look any better. Cabin fever’s setting in right about now. In times like these I am consoled by the thought that suffering, death, and all the difficulties of this present life will eventually come to an end. Spring, Easter, and the ultimate glorification of all things are coming soon. The Scripture Readings+Gospel for this 2nd Sunday of Lent serve as a reminder. Before going into his passion and death, Jesus takes his inner circle of disciples, Peter, James, and John up a mountain, Tabor, where he lets his divinity shine forth in all its glory. The luminous event on the mountaintop is provided to keep the disciples from losing heart when they see Jesus in pain and suffering when he’s in the dark valley of Gethsemane. Jesus took the occasion to inform the 3 that he would rise from the dead, indicating that Mount Tabor, not Calvary, would ultimately prevail.

Everything that Christ Jesus does is ordered to the restoration of humanity. The light with which he is clothed in is what Adam lost. We were created to participate in the divine nature. Jesus came to make that possible again. During Lent we follow him into the desert where he spent 40 days and was tempted by Satan from the outside. He submitted to being tempted because we experience temptation outwardly as well is inwardly. Because he overcame the ordeal, we too can overcome it in him. The desert  or wilderness is where Adam and Eve were exiled from the garden so that’s where Jesus the Word goes to make it accessible again, if we  listen to him. He left Paradise and entered a desert so that Man could exit the desert and enter Paradise.  Our world enveloped in the darkness of persecution and suffering desperately needs the Light of Resurrection. That’s why we follow him into the desert for 40 days.

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