Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord: ‘My refuge,
my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!’
Upon you no evil shall fall,
no plague approach where you dwell.
For you has he commanded his angels,
to keep you in all your ways.
They shall bear you upon their hands
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
On the lion and the viper you will tread
and trample the young lion and the dragon.
His love he set on me, so I will rescue him;
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: ‘I am with you,’
I will save him in distress and give him glory.
Responsorial Psalm for 1st Sunday in Lent
We do not need to go into the desert to find temptation; we do not need the devil personally testing and challenging us. We are subject to temptation because of our own frailties and weaknesses too – and mostly they are enough for the devil to lead us to our own devices and for us not to need the spiritual gym of the desert.
Just us, just left to our selves? No.
For the Lord is always with us. He has offered us covenant upon covenant, the last sealed with the very blood of the Lord. He is with us to guide us and lead us, and protect us. And not because we demand it or put him to the test, but because he loves and minds; because of compassion for us his creation and his care.
We face our day with much to encourage us.
Image: The Temptations. The cloister, St Trophime, Arles. (c) 2015, Allen Morris.