Saturday, February 17, 2018
1ST SUNDAY OF LENT
February 18, 2018 – 1ST SUNDAY OF LENT
Cycle B. Violet.
Gn 9: 8- 15 / 1 Pt 3: 18- 22 / Mk 1: 12 -15
2ND READING: 1 Pt 3: 18- 22
Remember how Christ died, once and for all, for our sins. He, the just one, died for the unjust in order to lead us to God. He died, as humans do, but was raised to life by the Spirit, and it was then that he went to preach to the imprisoned spirits. They were the generation who did not believe when God, in his great patience, delayed punishing the world while Noah was building the ark in which a small group of eight persons escaped through water.
That was a type of the baptism which now saves you; this baptism is not a matter of physical cleansing but of asking God to reconcile us through the resurrection of Christ Jesus. He has ascended to heaven and is at the right hand of God, having subjected the angels, Dominions and Powers.
GOSPEL READING: Mk 1: 12- 15
Then the Spirit drove him into the desert.. Jesus stayed in the desert forty days and was tempted by Satan. He was with wild animals, but angels ministered to him.
The Rift Valley Province in Kenya is home to an interesting tribe known as the Kalenjin. If you are not well versed in the sports world of long distance running, you may not have heard of Wilson Kipsang who ran the 2013 Berlin Marathon in two hours three minutes and 23 seconds or of Dennis Kimetto who two weeks later broke this world record. Both are Kenyans. And many other Kenyan long distance runners have done very well in the Olympics and world championships.
Which may bring us to conclude that Kenyans are pretty good long distance runners. Why? Perhaps because of genetics or something to do with Kenya's high altitude or perhaps something in Kenya's culture. One thing stands out: Kenya runners have somehow been "trained" intentionally or unintentionally to be good long distance runners.
This may perhaps be used as an analogy to the "training" Jesus underwent in the desert for forty days before his public ministry. Training prepares us for something we would be doing; training gives us the proper disposition for what lies ahead of us.
We really do not know for certain what happened to Jesus or what he did in forty days and nights in the desert: "Jesus stayed in the desert forty days and was tempted by Satan. He was with wild animals, but angels ministered to him."
But we do know that something remarkable happened to Jesus after his days in the desert: this son of a carpenter from Nazareth began to gather disciples or companions, to preach the coming of God's kingdom and to perform wonderful cures and miracles. Jesus' mission led to his death on a cross and his resurrection and his life on earth has forever changed the course of the world's history.
As we continually run the race of our lives, as we continue to embark on this journey of life, perhaps we can take inspiration from Jesus who somehow "trained" in the desert. We too need to "train" to be in touch with God and his Spirit. God's Spirit drove Jesus to the desert to commune with his Father. The same Spirit now encourages us to "train" and dispose ourselves during this season of Lent.
An interesting image of the "Spirit" is that of a pneuma, of a breath.. When Kalenjin runners run, they try to ritualize their breathing with both grace and rhythm to endure the grueling marathon and long distances. We may not be able literally to run the marathon ourselves but we can catch the breath of life as we run the race of our lives. As we train and dispose our spirits to overcome our fears and temptations, may we gain courage and wisdom in the same way Jesus disposed himself for his mission of proclaiming the coming of God's kingdom, May our journey, guided by the Spirit, lead us to go beyond the cross of death and enter the empty tomb of the resurrection.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
Fr. Maximo G. Barbero, S.J.
Michelle R. de Castro
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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