Judean Wilderness by Mayrussian

by Sister Julie Ann on March 1, 2009

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Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. (Luke 4:1-2)

The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invite you to journey with Jesus through the harsh wilderness focusing on Mayrussian’s authentic Judean desert image.           Website: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mayrussian/

10 thoughts on “Judean Wilderness by Mayrussian”

  1. The wilderness is the place of divine happenings. It was also the place of expectation. In the wilderness you were on your way to a goal.

    Many in the first century appreciated the symbolism of the wilderness and set up their armies there or went there expecting some decisive act by God.

    The community believed to have settled on the shores of the Dead Sea also believed it was preparing the way of God in the wilderness and used Isa 40:3 of itself, the passage which Mark cites in 1:3.

    The allusion to Malachi 3:1, which may also be present forges a link between John and Elijah whom people expected to return at the climax of history (Mal 4:5-6).

    We are at the climax of history and hope. That is Mark’s message. That is his good news. When in 1:3 Mark comes to the actual quotation from Isaiah, we have a text of hope expressed at the time of exile.

    Wilderness, exile – these are the symbols of need and expectation. They reinforce the claim that the good news meets such hopes and expectations. (adapted from William Loader, “The Gospel of Mark an Introduction for Preachers“)

    How is this lenten widerness a time of hope and expectation for you?

  2. Looking at the stark reality of this desert landscape, a great stimulus package of hope is badly needed. This great hope can only be God.

    We, too, can open ourselves and the world and allow God to enter. Encountering a God of love, our eyes will be opened to the beauty of creation and God’s presence found in every place (even a Judean desert)…just like Jesus and Gerard Manley Hopkins.

    THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
    Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
    Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
    Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

    And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
    And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
    Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

  3. During this Lent I am opening most of my spiritual direction sesssions with a prayer that we, like Jesus, might face our challenges, temptations and illusions during the desert days of Lent. Like Jesus, we don’t do this alone. We have the Holy Spirit, to “bend over us and brood” as Hopkins says so poetically.
    Prayers and blessings to all who are willing to enter the wilderness.

  4. Blessings upon you for your willingness to enter into the wilderness with so many of our Sisters and of God’s people Sister Anne Marie!

  5. Sr. Pat Sevcik says:

    This desert scene is so barren and empty, rather like the land here at the Motherhouse. I am filled with hope for spring, only 4 days away. Are you waiting for the earth to flower again? Taking time for solitude and prayer these Lenten days nurtures renewed hope in my soul. Water is running, snow melting, birds raising their chant-song of praise to God. As I sat near the perennial gardens this morning, I was amazed again to think about all that is hidden deep down and is already poking through the wet earth. Hope springs eternal!!

  6. I so agree with you Sister Pat! But I may be asking you to help shovel snow off my flower garden to find the hope springing! Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Candice T says:

    While the picture does correspond nicely with the caption underneath, I think more importantly it exemplifies how important lent should be in all of our lives. The time it takes for lent to be over (so everyone can go back to doing what they gave up) seems to be an awfully long time period for many people. However this picture of the desert with its rolling sand dunes reminds us all that lent is suppose to be a long journey symbolizing Jesus’ journey to the cross so he could give all he had for us.

  8. Thank you for taking the time to reflect on this meaningful image Candice! Your insights show that journeying with Jesus is important to you! Blessing upon you especially during this lenten time.

  9. Yatzel Ortiz says:

    i really really enjoyed the sound of the guitar

  10. Thanks for coming on the blog again Yatzel! The guitar on our featured song “Wired” is beautiful and draws one deeper into this lenten time while gazing at this image of the Judean wilderness!

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