for Sunday, February 18, 2018
Part of Lent is deepening our awareness that we people who have a Covenant with the Living God. We are not just people who believe in God. We are a people sought out by God, a people formed by God and a people with a special love relationship with God. Only when we are deeply aware of His love for us can we truly begin to do penance in a Christian way.
The first reading today is from the Book of Genesis and recounts the establishment of the Covenant with Noah and his descendants. Many times in the history of the Chosen People, God has made Covenants. These Covenants mark important events in the life of the Chosen People and are a sign of God's choosing this people and remaining faithful to His choice. What happens always is that God remains faithful to the Covenant and we do not. Yet we are called to look back at these Covenants and to let God change our faithlessness to faithfulness.
The second reading today is from the First Letter of Peter. This portion of the letter refers us once again to the Covenant with Noah and explains even more clearly that we must return to faithfulness. The letter points out that it is Christ who has died for our sins and that we cannot think that the death of Christ was simply a removal of dirt from the body. Rather the death of Christ our consciences are made clean by our faith in Him. Thus we are invited to choose Jesus Christ once again in this time of Lent and know that He is our salvation.
The Gospel of this First Sunday of Lent is always the Gospel of Christ in the Desert, the temptations of Christ fasting for forty days. The account this year comes from the Gospel of Mark and is very, very short. Saint Mark simply tells us that Jesus was in the desert forty days and was tempted and that angels ministered to Him. When Jesus leaves the desert, he begins His ministry of preaching. He preaches repentance and belief in the Good News of God.
We are invited to see that Lent is a time of Good News of God. Lent is a time to believe more deeply in this God who loves us and comes to save us in every situation. Lent is a time to listen attentively to the Word of God and to meditate on what this Word means in our lives. We are invited to turn away from anything that misleads us and walk always the way of the Lord.
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: