This weekend is Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th of March, beginning the First week of Lent.

The choir of Westminster Cathedral, directed by David Hill, sing Victoria’s Taedet animam meam: ‘My soul is weary of my life.’   When you look at the people around you now, do they look a bit weary, a bit tired of their lives?  Perhaps you feel a bit weary yourself, even now as you’re trying to pray – not in the mood – too busy, too preoccupied, too tired.

But if that is how you find yourself right now, just acknowledge that feeling, and present yourself, nonetheless, to God, just as you are. And God will listen to you, and accept you, just as you are.

Once more, we are not simply spectators in this extraordinary drama. We, too, are tempted to do the right things in the wrong way, or for the wrong reason. Part of the discipline of Lent is about learning to recognise the flickering impulses, the whispering voices, for what they are, and to have the scripture-fuelled courage to resist. We, too, are part of the ongoing battle for heaven’s rule to be established on earth. Every successful fight against temptation is one more step on the road to the ultimate victory.

This weekend’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.

There are so many voices continually fighting for our attention, so many temptations in our fast moving ever changing world, do I always recognise the tempters voice amongst all the others?

What are the things I find it hardest to resist?

How might I overcome these temptations during this time of lent, no matter how big or small?

As you hear Matthew’s gospel read again, notice how clear it is, particularly at the very end, that Jesus as ‘king of the Jews’ is to become the true lord of the whole world. But the path by which he moves to that lordship is not the satanic one which would make him grab it for his own ends.

Lord Jesus, as you saw through the temptations and refused them, give us wisdom to recognise the tempter’s voice, and strength to resist.