by Mitch Finley

Genesis 9:8-15 | 1 Peter 3:18-22 | Mark 1:12-15

Michael O’Brien: Christ’s Temptations in the Desert
Michael O’Brien: Christ’s Temptations in the Desert

Jesus was with the wild beasts, and angels waited on him. (Mark 1:13b)

Where is Jesus today? Still with the wild beasts, and those who join him will find themselves served by angels.

The risen Christ, of course, is wherever two or three are gathered together in his name. But there’s something to be said for the conviction that in a special way Jesus is present where dwell today’s “wild beasts.”

What are the modern world’s “wild beasts”? They are legion and are called by one name: Violence. Wherever human existence is overshadowed by violence and rumors of violence, there Christ invites his people to speak one word: Peace.

Those who respond to this invitation will discover that it is not they who act. The angels of divine presence act through them. The disciples of Jesus are there, in the wilderness of modern, up-to-date, efficient, technologically superior “wild beasts.” Therefore, Jesus is there with that one word: Peace.

For reflection: 

  • Identify one wild beast in your life. How can you speak the word “peace” to the situation?
  • Identify one angel in your life. Give thanks for the special care you receive.
  • In what ways are we influenced by our culture to choose violence over peace?

* This reflection appeared in Rend Your Heart: A Lenten Journal for Peacemakers, published by Pax Christi USA in 1988.

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