Can anything grow in a desert?
Of course it can. We all have seen beautiful pictures of deserts following a spring rain. Our spiritual ancestors lived in close proximity to the desert. They knew both the intense scarcity & the surprising fecundity of these ecosystems. They saw in deserts a helpful metaphor for the human condition.
In Genesis we read about the beautiful garden where God’s children lived in abundance. There Adam & Eve ate a forbidden fruit & their eyes were opened. In Matthew, the Garden is long gone. Jesus is led into the desert by the Holy Spirit & there is presented with temptations by the devil. How far we have come from the garden.
As we follow Jesus into the desert & witness his temptation, we see our own struggles laid bare.
The three deserts of our Gospel reading are the desert of
the desert of the desert of
The nourishment we receive in the desert is called: