Today’s Lenten reflection is written by Brother Hugo Morales, A.A.,
Campus Minister at Assumption University
This Sunday is the first Sunday of Lent, a liturgical season where we are invited to turn our hearts to God as we prepare to experience the Easter Vigil in an authentic way. For this reason, the reading from the Gospel of St. Mark mentions that the Spirit led Jesus into the desert where he remained for forty days and was tempted by the devil.
From this biblical context, what does the word “desert” mean as a hermeneutical key for the beginning of Lent? This word has several interpretations, among them, I would like to emphasize its meaning as a trial in order to strengthen our Christian life during this significant time of Lent.
The desert represents trial. It is a symbol of a stage of our life in which there is affliction, scarcity, brokenness, and in which God wants our heart to serve him and praise him with joy, because our faith and love towards him are not determined by the situation but by what God himself is for us. The desert is an inward journey where we must strip our soul of all the external noises of life in order to listen to the voice of God and thus orient our life in the light of the Spirit towards a definitive encounter with Jesus Christ who calls us to be his beloved disciples.
In synthesis, the theological category of Desert as a trial makes it a place of spiritual purification where we can go deeper this Lent. This is a precious time to be united to the love of Jesus Christ who calls us to be his true disciples.