These weeks of Lent offer us the opportunity to come face to face with ourselves, taking stock of our own spiritual life and measuring our lives against the yardstick of God’s commandments.
This Sunday’s Gospel finds Jesus in the desert wrestling with issues of right and wrong. For most of us, perhaps with the exception of those who have visited desert lands, it is difficult to visualise the dry parched earth and the stark landscape of the desert. No one books a holiday to the desert unless they can be assured that someone has built a resort spa and a five star hotel! The desert also represents a parched place for the heart and the soul. The desert may be the time when health is broken or promises have been broken. The desert may be the wasteland of depression, hopelessness or crushed dreams. Have you ever been there? Are you there now?
Living now, as many of us do, in built up areas, piled high on top of each other in high rise apartments, bombarded day and night with the roar of traffic and the blare of electronic music, we are in danger of losing our desert roots and with that, our inner life. We need to create a time and space to nurture our spiritual lives. Lent is such a time. The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert wilderness and He remained there for forty days. Like Jesus we too should let the Holy Spirit lead us out into the desert this Lent where we can confront the devils that haunt our lives, and like Christ, wrestle with them and overcome them. Fr John