The desert is a desolate land, created due to lack of rainfall. Scorching in the daylight and freezing at night. This extreme environment is a place not suitable for a man to live simply because it is too dry. For us, it is not a place where we can do many things, but there were numerous accounts in the Bible where people experienced GOD in this place. From the book of Exodus, Moses and his people wandered in the desert for 40 years. Those people became tired, hungry, thirsty, and some even died. But the only thing that suffices them is the Spirit of God that enabled them to endure. In the Gospel of Luke (Lk4:1), Jesus Christ was led by the Holy Spirit to the desert to pray, and there, the devil tempted Him. Jesus Christ stayed there for 40 days. The mystery of the Holy Spirit enabled them to cross the desert. From the message of St Pope John Paul II for Lent (1998), “the Church contemplates the Mystery of the Holy Spirit. By this mystery, the Church is being led in the desert to experience with Christ the fragility of the human being, but also the closeness of God who saves.”
The desert that early followers and even Jesus Christ experienced is not far from the desert of COVID-19 Pandemic that we are experiencing right now. We are vulnerable to hunger, thirst, temptation, and even death. In thiS time of Pandemic, let us allow the spirit to rekindle our hope (Pope Francis, in his Urbi et Orbi) – hope for humanity, and hope for the resurrection of Christ. The desert may be a lifeless abode, but from a better perspective, it is a place for purification. This pandemic is a timely place for us to encounter God; in the dryness of our faith, may we still find the Spirit that flourished. May this time of quarantine, let us be “locked” in the embrace of God and let us get “down” to our knees in prayers simply because we need the only one that suffices, the only one that is enough, who is Christ.
Gemmuel is a Mission Volunteer of MFC Youth serving in the Luzon Missions Team.