Our patron—the saint who gives our community its name— St. Mark the Evangelist, plunges us directly into the wilderness. He doesn’t spill ink on genealogies to trace Jesus’ lineage in more detail than Ancestry.com, nor does he tell the narrative account of Jesus’ humble beginnings. He simply writes, “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,”’ John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” We don’t even have time to catch our breaths before we fall headlong into the blazing light and intense heat of the desert and of The Baptizer’s clarion call to repentance.
What is it about the wilderness? Why is it the place that God often chooses to meet us? What is found in the desert, the mountains, the rough places that cause them to become “thin,” the very settings where we palpably encounter the Divine? Continue reading God Meets us in the Wilderness