Using Our Gift of Speech
Journey Through Lent-Video

First Sunday of Lent

Click here to review the reading for this Sunday

 

 Once again we begin our spiritual journey into the desert of Lent.  Are we willing to make this journey; to leave some of our comforts?


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In the gospel we hear this Sunday, St. Mark tells us that the Spirit lead Jesus into the desert for 40 days to be tempted to abandon His Father's will for Him.  

 

That is true for each of us too. Are we willing to go into this time of the desert.  This time of giving up meat on Fridays of Lent, of  

doing more in the way...

 


Photo Feb 17, 2 30 51 PMof prayer,

of giving alms,

of watching our tongue,

of not making judgements,

of having more compassion and mercy,

of going out of our way for another?

 

Maybe you are asking yourself why.  Why give up my comforts, my pleasures, my conveniences, etc.?  

The Church has given us more freedom to go into the desert the way we want.  The desert is always the place where we can look more deeply into our spiritual lives.  But...it is so easy to say no to this invitation to the desert of Lent.

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The readings of this Sunday and all of the Sundays of Lent can be a help. But whatever you decide to do during your trip in the desert of Lent, don't give up.  Often when we do things that are uncomfortable and that help us to look deep within, we fail.  Doing something extra, giving up something, doing morPhoto Feb 17, 2 31 17 PMe prayer, etc., is always difficult.  We want to be comfortable.  So, when we fail at whatever we decide to do for Lent, we give up until next year.  But who knows if we will have a next year.  A good Lent is to see the struggle we go through, and to see it is hard, and we want to escape the being uncomfortable.

 So if you fail, don't give up.  Start again; the journey is only 40 days.

 

 

 

 

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The first reading from Genesis is the story of Noah.  
It is important because it demonstrates how much God loves the humans in His creation.  When the human race forgets its creator, God does not just wipe them all out and give up.  But He loves his sinful humanity and chooses Noah to build the ark and to start over. It shows the patience of God in not destroying humanity right away but gives a human, Noah, time to build the ark, before the flood, so that humans will not be totally destroyed.  Wow!  What patience, what mercy.  And guess what; he does the same for each of us.  Even when we fail, when we sin, God is patient and loving and merciful with each of us.  He calls us into the ark, the Church, so we will not be spiritually destroyed.  

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And even more, God makes a guarantee, a pact, a covenant with us that He will not destroy us.  And the reading says that He seals this agreement with a bow.  We need to continually be reminded of how much God loves each of us.  We need this Lent to once again look deep into our spiritual selves and to see our failures, our sins, and come before God for his mercy.

But if we can't or won't see our sins, then we may not experience God's great love and mercy.  Why are we often so afraid to see our sins?  Boy, looking at our sins can be so hard to do at times.  It is much easier to blame the other, or to blame the fact we were tired, or to say, well I am only human.  But to see our sin...we say, no not me.  I am pretty good most of the time.  And we leave our journey of Lent, our chance to experience God's love and mercy.  Why are we afraid?

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In the second reading, St. Peter addresses the new Christian converts.  For sure, they are on a journey of suffering, rejection, and persecution.  Remember that during that time, Christians were physically martyred.  He encourages them to remember that are on their journey to eternal life, the promise made to them and to us at our baptism.  

When times are difficult, when we see our own failures, in what we say and do, or in what we fail to say and do; remember these words we heard in today's gospel...

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"This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel."
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See your failures, your sins and know that forgiveness is at hand
The gospel, meaning good news,
is 
to see our sins
so
we can be forgiven
and
made new

 

 


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