for Sunday, February 22, 2015
You and I must repent our sins and turn to the Lord! It is as easy as that
as we begin Lent. Yet, if we have been observing Lent for many years, we
know that repenting of our sins and turning to God is an ongoing task and
not always an easy one! We need not fear God. God has promised His love
for us and promised with an everlasting covenant in Jesus Christ that He
will save us.
Lent is about us doing our part of the Covenant. Far too often we speak of
the Old and the New Testament and forget the Old Covenant and the New
Covenant-in His blood. You and I have made a pact with God. He is always
faithful and we are not.
The readings today begin in Genesis, with the covenant made with Noah. We
know that in the Old Testament, the Old Covenant, there were many
covenants. God continues to make covenants with us today if we listen to
His voice. The covenant made with Noah is made with all of us. The
covenant made with Moses is also made with all of us. We need to hear
these covenants and the stories about covenants over and over and we need
to meditate on them.
The second reading to day is from the First Letter of Peter, repeating the
theme of the first reading: God has made a covenant with His people. We
need to pay attention to this second reading: baptism is not a removal a
dirt from the body, it is an appeal to God for a clear conscience.
When we sin, it is clear that we are not seeking a good conscience. After
we sin, if we continue to seek the Lord, we can sense this desire for a
clear conscience which once again desires the Lord and His holy will. If
we listen to our conscience, we begin to understand that our conscience can
be weak or it can be clear and firm. In this time of Lent, we are praying
to have a good conscience, a conscience that is clear and firm, a
conscience that wants to be clear now and firm in seeking the Lord.
So we turn to the Gospel from Mark today. Jesus is driven into the desert
by the Spirit. This is part of the preparation of Jesus for His ministry
to His own people and to us. The forty days that Jesus spends in the
desert are to be our model during these forty day of Lent: driven by the
Spirit of the Church.
If we listen attentively to the Spirit in these forty days, our lives will
surely change and we will come to the end of Lent changed in many ways. Let
us rely on God's word to us and enter into these forty days with faith. We
do not know what God will do to us in the forty days, but it will be for
our salvation and for the salvation of others. Let us go forth to die with
Him so that we may live with Him. Amen.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Genesis 9.8-15
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3.18-22
Gospel: Mark 1.12-15
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: