I won't be able to listen to today's gospel reading (Matthew 4: 1 - 11) without thinking of the taste of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice.

On a Holy Land Pilgrimage, in a place near Jericho, I took this photo of the Monastery of the Temptation. I didn't climb up to the monastery. I drank refreshing pomegranate juice, bought from a Palestinian stall-holder. It was delicious. Then I got back into an air-conditioned coach, feeling more tourist than pilgrim. EASY. VERY EASY.

On this first Sunday of Lent the gospel reading tells how after his baptism by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, Jesus "was led by the Spirit into the desert" where he faced a 3-fold temptation. DIFFICULT. REALLY DIFFICULT.

Read Matthew's account here.

Lord our God,
we dare to ask
that you call us
into the desert
where we may once more hear you
whisper our name with love.
Prayer by Sheila Cassidy

This is the 5th of a series of daily Lent reflections based on Bible readings from the Common worship Lectionary of the Church of England. This one is based on Matthew 4: 1-11


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