Saturday, February 28, 2009
1st SUNDAY OF LENT
1st SUNDAY OF LENT – B
God said to Noah and to his sons with him: "See, I am now establishing
my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every
living creature that was with you: all the birds, and the various tame
and wild animals that were with you and came out of the ark. I will
establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all bodily
creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood; there shall not be
another flood to devastate the earth." God added: "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. When I bring
clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will
recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living
beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy
all mortal beings."
1 PETER 3:18-22
Beloved: Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of
the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the
flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit. In it he also went to
preach to the spirits in prison, who had once been disobedient while
God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the
ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water.
This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of
dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience,
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and
is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers
subject to him.
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. After John had been arrested, Jesus came
to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of
fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the
Discipline is a key factor to be able to somehow realize the mission
of Jesus. What kind of discipline do we have to have in order to
capture the essence of Lent?
Discipline is necessary with regard to our health. It takes knowledge
and discipline to have a balance diet and regular exercise so that we
may remain generally fit and healthy. Discipline is necessary if we
want to grow in our relationship with Jesus. In Jesus himself, we see
how he practiced discipline that allowed him to become closer to his
Father and faithful to his mission.
We should note that Jesus was tempted in the desert. To those of us
that have never been to a desert, we imagine a desert to have a lack
of food and water. It is a place where no human life can properly be
sustained. Yet, biblically, the desert was significant for the
Israelites. It was where they encountered God. Jesus goes into the
desert, to meet his Father in solitude and silence. There he is given
sufficient courage and inspiration to continue and be faithful to his
mission. Thus, the desert may be something many of us may desire. Not
a physical desert, probably, but the desert of our hearts. Amid the
busy and hectic schedules and obligations, there lies within us a
yearning for something quiet and calm. Perhaps this becomes the
opportunity to spend time in solitude and silence, and seek the face
of God. God reveals Godself in the silence of the desert. The desert,
then, is not the place of death but, ironically, a place of life.
However, we must remember that we are not spared from temptations. We
shall likewise be tested by the evil spirit who will exert efforts to
turn us away from God. The pericope says that Satan, which means
adversary in Hebrew, tempted Jesus. Its meaning has evolved from the
Old Testament as human opponents to what we now understand as God's
adversary, a demonic spirit opposed to God. Our desire to follow God
will be put to test. Jesus will invite us to turn to him and live.
Temptations are inevitable. To be tempted is not bad as it may give us
the opportunity to ponder whether we are bent to giving ourselves to
Jesus all that we are.
Not many of us would associate this time of Lenten discipline as Good
News particularly if it means facing the adversary within and around
us. Perhaps we shall often be taken into the wilderness to face the
power that is opposed to the Gospel. The Good News, however, is that
Jesus shall be with us and we are in the company of his followers.
Let this season of Lent be a time to deepen our relationship with
Jesus. Let us spend more time reflecting on our lives and encounters
with the Lord. Let us practice the discipline of Lent … sacrifice,
prayer, and reflection. Let us go into the desert of our hearts and
there, meet Jesus who eagerly awaits us. Let the Holy Spirit draw us
to Jesus who shall grant us the grace of solitude, silence, and
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the healing and strength of:
- Sr. Teresa Mabasa, DC
- Marlyn Tadeo
- Gett Que
… for the personal intentions of
- the Dapo family
- Belardo and Magcamit families
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Ernesto Guevara
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Marissa Ducut
- Birthday: Sol M. Elepano
- Birthday: Fr. K Tae Jin, S.J.
- In Memoriam (+): Mario J. Sevilla
… for the healing and peace of all families
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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