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February 22nd - First Sunday of Lent (Mk 1:12–15)

The beginning of Lent strongly evokes Baptism, not only that of the Lord in the Jordan, but also our own, because it takes us back to the origins of faith and of the choice for God, even in the toughest conditions of temptation and testing. Jesus’ silence is striking; it is the sign of great warmth and confidence in the Father and the Spirit.
This is the Season of Lent, a time marked by the nearness of God’s kingdom in each one of us and to each person open to receive this gift. In today’s Gospel, Jesus makes the strongest and most meaningful statement: the Kingdom of God is near. That means: the lordship of God is present in the person and in the work of Jesus Christ, and it is close because it has begun and is growing among people thanks to Jesus’ presence. Faith implies coming closer to this presence, letting ourselves be reached by the Spirit because we feel distant, like orphans of God.
Jesus’ example makes the hardship and violence suffered by Christians precious; they are not useless, but make the Lord‘s disciples able to do the Father’s will. He accomplished it on the cross, the true Ark of Noah.

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