Lenten Reflection: Mark 1:12-15
At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[a] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
I find the brevity of this passage very interesting. Temptation is necessary for spiritual growth, but Mark describes this temptation of Christ in just two verses. It seems merely perfunctory, a necessary step (absent the extended details from other Gospels) before Jesus can move on to the important stuff: His ministry in Galilee.
We speak much of struggle (ie. temptation) at Mount Carmel. That it is part of the journey to being a Man of Carmel, that it requires work and effort, that it should motivate us to improve and be better. This Gospel passage, however, can perhaps offer another message to ponder.
While the struggle will happen, and is in fact necessary, it is only a fleeting component of our lives. It is what comes after the struggle that is far more important to who we are as people and what we will accomplish. Just as Christ did, we must endure the various temptations we face so we can arrive at our own “time of fulfillment” and play our role in realizing the Kingdom of God.