Mark’s account of Jesus’ time in the wilderness is very short. Perhaps this gives us an opportunity to imagine the scenery ourselves and enter into the story. Also, its brevity might reflect the very starkness of the place where Jesus spent forty days. In earlier times, many people sought refuge in the desert to escape the turmoil of every day life, to be alone with God. The great gift of these places is their silence. In that silence God can speak. Our world has become so noisy that the communication between animals like whales and dolphins is being disturbed. How much more is our communication with God being drowned out?
A few years ago, a television series filmed groups of men and women spending time in a monastery, a convent and a Jesuit residence, in order to have a period of quiet reflection. For some it was too much and they abandoned the task; for others who persisted, it brought rich rewards in that they received insights into changes they needed to make in their lives.
The demons that Jesus faced prepared him for his ministry and most of all the Cross. He would meet the same demons in the shape of the chief priests, Herod and Pilate. These leaders had created their own gods of wealth, power and prestige but Jesus, who had already confronted these, was steadfast in following the path he had chosen.