Today's Liturgy leads us into this blessed season of Lent. The Liturgical Year gives us these six weeks to prepare to really enter into the life of Jesus, especially to be with Him in his Passion and Death. But the Paschal mystery includes the Resurrection.
In the Collect for today's Liturgy, we ask that we may grow in "understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects." Since I am directing a group through the complete Exercises of St. Ignatius, the grace we are asking for is to know Christ more intimately, to love Him more ardently, and to follow Him more closely.
The first reading speaks of the temptation in the garden of Eden; the Gospel tells us how Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil as he fasted for forty days. Both readings suggest to me that we need to be aware of how the evil spirit may be tempting us. Let us pray for one another as we begin these forty days of walking with Jesus.