Today's first reading is awful; Abraham is asked to sacrifice His Beloved Son Isaac. Could God really ask such a thing from us? In the end he does not, yet that is what God does for us. In this story we can see God's Love, and the extent to which He went to redeem us. But like Jesus who walked the road of Calvary before us, we too must also walk that road. But that road results in resurrection; and every sacrifice is followed by blessings. During our difficult times, when we see no way God can see us through an impossible situation, he still can; let us trust and hope for every death is followed by a resurrection if we join the sacrifice to Christ.
Why does the Spirit drive Jesus into the Desert? To meet us where we are. We are in the desert because through temptations and the fall, we left the Garden of Eden, to find ourselves in the desert fighting the effects of temptation, sin which brings suffering and death. Jesus enters our humanity to bring us back to the promised land the Garden, and through us, our work as gardeners, to make the desert bloom and bring us back to the Garden. But know that this life is a struggle, but God promised to always be with us, like the rainbow in the storm, so that we may grow closer to Him and through our suffering, storms, be made holy.
A leper approaches Jesus and says "If you wish you can cure me.." In one way this is a healing. But it is also showing us what Jesus wishes to heal all of us from; our spiritual disease that is much like leprosy, our sinfulness. Jesus wishes to make us clean. We can approach Jesus as the leper had the courage to do; to experience the touch of God, the power of His infinite Love, and hear the words "I do wish it, be made clean".
Job points out that life is short and filled with suffering. (We hear similar musings from Ecclesiastes). Is there more to life than what we see? Is there a purpose in life? Is there life after death? Why is there so much suffering? If God exists, it does answer some of these big questions. That there is a God, gives a better answer to these questions than if there were no God. But the atheists requires proof that God exists. It turns out that the better answer is also the one for which there is the most evidence; that God exists.