The Gospel of the First Sunday of Lent reminds us that we are called into battle. The enemies are always the same - the world, the flesh and the devil. In a particular sense we focus on Satan-THE enemy. It is interesting that as soon as Jesus is baptised he is led into the desert by the Spirit to meet Satan. Early Christians were warned that this would happen to them. Part of the immediate preparation for Baptism was precisely this warning, and those who instructed the catechumens knew that this was a serious business.
When Jesus went into the desert for forty days and forty nights He was, in a sense, recapitulating the experience of the Hebrews in the wilderness of Sin as they journeyed towards the Promised Land. The forty years in the wilderness means the inability to follow a straight path - the failure to be guided by the Spirit of God - the stubborn, repeated decision to walk the way of man rather than the way of God. Jesus is the perfectly obedient Servant. His way is THE WAY. He leaves the footprints that we must follow, and as we enter into the battle, He is our tutor. Because He has defeated Satan, so can we - in Him.
These days we are especially aware of the interference of Satan in human affairs. If I can wear my exorcist's hat - and although it is only one opinion - the Enemy is very strong at the moment. This shows that humanity is weak. The Church is also weak and so we need to take Lent 2009 particularly seriously. These are not going to be an easy few weeks, and our Lenten struggle should make us aware that there are more difficulties to come. From my recent experience as an exorcist I believe this to be true.
Mary, Queen of Angels, pray for us. Holy Michael Archangel protect us.