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The story of Jesus in the desert has resulted in many different interpretations. Yesterday I posted a reflection from Fr. Richard Rohr. Below is and insightful look at one possible meaning for this encounter between Jesus and a very cleaver fallen angel.

“After his Baptism of penance in the Jordan, when he takes upon himself the destiny of the Servant of God who renounces himself, lives for others and puts himself among sinners to take the sin of the world upon himself, Jesus goes into the wilderness and remains there for 40 days in profound union with the Father, thereby repeating Israel’s history, with all those cadences of 40 days or years which I have mentioned.

This dynamic is a constant in the earthly life of Jesus, who always seeks moments of solitude in order to pray to his Father and to remain in intimate communion, in intimate solitude with him, in an exclusive communion with him, and then to return to the people.

However in this period of “wilderness” and of his special encounter with the Father, Jesus is exposed to danger and is assaulted by the temptation and seduction of the Evil One, who proposes a different messianic path to him, far from God’s plan because it passes through power, success and domination rather than the total gift of himself on the Cross. This is the alternative: a messianism of power, of success, or a messianism of love, of the gift of self.

Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, 22 February 2012


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