These weeks of Lent are set aside by the Church so that people may have the opportunity, if they choose to take it, of coming face to face with ourselves, taking stock of our spiritual life and measuring them 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, except for those who have visited the Holy Land, it is difficult to visualise the dry parched earth, 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 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 and crushed dreams.  Have you 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, triumph over them.                                                                     Fr John