Here is today’s Gospel, from St Mark: ‘The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”’

After the immense experience of His Baptism, Jesus is driven ‘immediately’ into the desert, to be tempted by Satan.

St Bede the Venerable commented: ‘Soon after he had been baptised, he performed a fast of forty days by himself, and he taught and informed us by his example that, after we have received forgiveness of sins in baptism, we should devote ourselves to vigils, fasts, prayers and other spiritually fruitful things …’ And St Peter warns us: ‘Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith’.

May we, this Lent, devote ourselves to all ‘spiritually fruitful things’, so that, at Easter, our joy in the Risen Lord will be full. May God bless you this day.