For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and past it into your browser.
This weekend we begin the season of Lent. For the next six weeks, through our acts of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we will try to show our desire to “repent and believe in the Gospel.” Each year on the first Sunday of Lent, we always read one of the accounts of Jesus’ Temptation in the Desert. This year we read Mark’s account. Now since Mark’s was the first Gospel written and also the shortest, it doesn’t include the details that Matthew and Luke include in their Gospels. Mark merely says: “The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts and the angels ministered to him.” The lack of details is not meant to minimize the reality of the temptations Jesus faced in the desert. They were real and Jesus struggled with them. For Mark, though, the important thing was not the temptations Jesus faced, but that fact that he overcame them and afterward began his public ministry by proclaiming: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
In each of our lives, we too face temptations, but because of Jesus, and the grace he offers us, we are can overcome them and follow the way of Jesus.
Our first reading this weekend is from the Book of Genesis. It takes place immediately after the story of the great flood. The flood waters have receded and God establishes a covenant with his people. We are told: “This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you; I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”
Our second reading this weekend is taken from the first Letter of Saint Peter. In this reading, Peter reminds us that the great flood “prefigured baptism, which saves you now.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- While we all face temptations in our lives, some people seem to resist them more successfully than others. Why do you think this is?
- Where do you need to repent this Lent?
- I take great comfort in the fact that God has made a covenant with us. At times, though, I also worry that I am not living up to my end of the covenant. Have you ever felt this way?