1th Sunday of Lent: The Desert Of Needs. The Desert Of Attitudes

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Lent suggests us more closeness with the Word of God. The first Sunday focuses on the central message of the Christian life: the announcement of the kingdom. Our world needs the good news of the nearness and accompaniment of Jesus.


A diagnosis is made in the pages of the creation of the world. God separates the water from the earth to make it habitable, an stable house of men. Next to this the separation of those elements appears the invasion of man, turning chaos to the earth, a place of nonsense, to the point that God decides to level it again with water, purifying it.

We have a populated world but at the same time it is a desert of values. In this world "wild beasts and birds of prey" live of all kinds that threaten human life, so the creation of God is destabilized. We have learned to live in comfortable terms and consider the functional as the most important. People ignore the ends and care about means (aesthetics, appearance, little effort, comfort); We have access to everything to cover any need (pills to sleep and wake up, get fat and lose weight, lower and raise the tension); We want everything to be given to us and to live without knowing about suffering, problems and needs. These are the characteristics of a man who dispenses with God and who despises him.


Jesus urges the need of the world. That is why he is going to meet the world. He has an irrepressible feeling to take his love and accompany him steadily. His Lent is this entrusted mission, his incarnated life from which he will make a journey towards the promised land with men.

Jesus does not go to the desert of silence, solitude, geographical place separated from society like John, but he goes where man is to announce the closeness of the kingdom. Jesus cannot ignore blessing and sacralising the world. The world cannot expect anything else for their salvation: they come together in the same desire of God. Since Jesus is incarnated, the deadlines are over, he begins his journey with us and everything is sacralised. Every man and woman are sacred, more than the temple; we are encounters with God, holiness of God in every moment of history. Jesus announces: that man is no longer alone in the worst moments of pain and suffering, problems and burdens and disappointments; He tells us that the human being has a companion for the road only if they open their eyes and heart to welcome him.


The letter of Peter tells us that the flood is a sign of our baptism and actualization of the covenant that enables us to recognize the low value of the promises of the world, and to respond from trust in God. We must understand that Believing and trusting is knowing where we can place our sin, and knowing who forgives us. To believe and trust is not to not sin, or to live ritual perfection.

The conversion is to turn our life towards God, to direct it towards his grace and to feel his closeness. Our commitment cannot be the fact of making more sacrifices, being more fulfilled, praying more. We must listen to the good news of the gospel as if it were the first time to cross the desert of our lives, with human sense and sensitivity for others. This is what we repeat every day in the Our Father when we say: hallowed be thy Name..., sacralise and sanctify God in the service to the brothers.


By Fr. Pedro Juan Alonso OP