Father Ricardo's Column

We should recall that today’s reading from Mark’s gospel
comes immediately after Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan. As the
heavens are torn open, the Spirit descends, and a voice comes
from heaven: You are my beloved Son.

At the beginning of the public ministry of Christ, we see the action
of the Holy Spirit, the voice of the Father, and the submission of the Son.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke all recount the story of Jesus being
driven by the Holy Spirit into the desert, to pray, to be tested,
and to emerge ready for His mission.

Mark doesn’t describe the event in detail. He states that it
occurred, and that Jesus immediately went to Galilee to
proclaim His work: This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom
of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.

Mark does not specify the temptations. His entire gospel is a
narrative of the trials that Jesus undergoes. Satan will use
every means to tempt Jesus and to tempt us in order to
preserve the dominance he has over the world.

The combat Jesus undergoes with His adversary is physical,
mental, and psychological. It is also decisive. The strength He
gains in being tested enables Him to face the next three years
of warfare with evil.

Satan is our adversary, too. No one with the consciousness of
freedom escapes the testing that reveals where the heart’s true
treasure lies. Jesus in His human consciousness and freedom
loved God with all His heart, and with all His soul, and with all
His strength. On the other hand, a person with a divided heart
easily fails in a test of faith.

Mark’s message is that we must pray as Jesus prayed, if we
hope to love God as He did.