Sunday, March 01, 2009

"The Spirit Drove"

I attended Mass for the First Sunday of Lent here in Anaheim, CA, at the close of the L.A. Religious Education Congress. The Gospel was a brief passage on Christ's 40 days in the desert.

From Mark Chapter 1:

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan.

He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:

"This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

In his homily, Cardinal Roger Mahoney observed that Mark wrote "the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert" as opposed to the other Gospel writers Matthew and Luke who wrote "the Spirit led Jesus into the desert."

"This is a radical difference," Cardinal Mahoney said, adding that we, too, sometimes are "driven" and sometimes are "led" by the Holy Spirit into our 40-day observances of Lent. With the economic crisis, said the cardinal, Lent 2009 may seem like one into which we are being "driven."

For the offering hymn of the Mass, the orchestra played the peaceful tune "Gabriel's Oboe" by Ennio Morricone. It's always a good listen.

The painting above is by Ivan Kramskoi (1837 - 1887). Hat-tip: Dr. Maureen Tilley

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