"Come to me all you who are burdened and I will give you rest."
Our parish is part of the Archdiocese of Westminster and is situated in the heart of London. It is home to a vibrant, exciting and culturally diverse community, sharing our lives and growing in faith together. Our website aims to provide a taste of all the many different groups in our parish, all of which are centred firmly in The Good News of Christ.
We strive to provide a loving welcome to all who pass through our parish, but nothing can substitute for coming and sharing in our worship with us.
We are invited at the start of our Lenten journey to follow Jesus out into the desert. In the Bible the desert is a place where God tests, trains and teaches his people in his ways, as when Moses led the people of Israel through the wilderness for forty years so that they could be truly ready to enter the Promised Land. The desert is also a place of battle, a place it seemed that was under the control of the spirit of evil. Filled with the Spirit after his baptism, Jesus now urgently begins his mission by entering into the desert and so declaring war on Satan.
We read that Jesus was tempted by Satan. Tempted here means being tried and tested like a contestant in a boxing or wrestling ring. The result of this first bout was victory to Jesus. We read that “He was with the wild beasts and the angels looked after him.” The angels are a sign of God’s support and care during the struggle. And the most likely meaning of the wild beasts is that they were with Jesus in peace, having lost their distrust and ferocity. This transforming presence of Jesus in the untamed wilderness is the first sign that the peace of paradise is being restored through him. One day the wolf will indeed lie down with the lamb.
The first bout was over with victory to Jesus, but the war was to continue. The evil spirit would fight back with all the ferocity of desperation. And the struggle for God’s kingdom continues to this day in the hearts of us all and in the human family around us. The call of Jesus is for us to join him in the battle: “Repent and believe the Good News.” To repent is to break our ties with sin and evil in our thoughts, words and deeds. And to believe means to trust more and more in Jesus’ saving power. This Lent we are challenged by God to enter the desert with Jesus and so enter the battle, knowing that he will be there to care for us, with the promise that if we stay close to Jesus we too can be healed and transformed.
With Lenten blessings and prayers, Fr Richard, Fr Ephrem & all the parish team