When I walk in the mountains, quite often I have to go on zigzag paths. This kind of path leads from one side of the hill to another and back again. Every few minutes I’m back on the side of the hill that I just left. It could become irritating and very boring, but every zigzag takes me higher, closer to the summit. This Sunday we begin another Lent. Yet again we hear in the gospel the call to repentance and belief. It could be irritating and very boring. We are here, in church, because we are believers. So much is obvious. Every Lent is an invitation from God to move higher. This Lent might turn out to be a zigzag that leads us closer to God.

In today’s gospel Saint Mark tells us about Jesus, who spent forty days in the desert with wild beasts. We also need to go to the spiritual desert deep in our heart to square up against the wild beasts that live within us. In our everyday lives these beasts are hidden in our hearts, covered with noise and rush. Throughout Lent we can uncover them by fasting and fight them with prayer and almsgiving. As we do this we will find that the angels keep us company and look after us. We will find these angels among the people who live with us and around us. So, this Lent could be for you a time of climbing higher and closer to God. But you need to want it and work for it.