Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

March 5, A.D. 2006

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Genesis 9:8-15
Psalm 25:4-9
1 Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:12-15

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

Our first reading today from Genesis is all about promises that came in the form of a Covenant, a two-way pact between God and His people. It turns out that God is always faithful to his part of the bargain, but his chosen people are not faithful to theirs. In the time of Noah, things came to a head. Because of the wild parties, loose morals, and the outrageous behavior of Noahıs neighbors, God decides itıs time to end the whole experiment. He sends a flood to destroy the earth and all its inhabitants, all except eight people, that is - Noah, his wife, and their sons and daughters. And this is where a rainbow comes in, a promise for all time that God will be patient and forgiving of our broken promises.

But at what a price! The second reading tells us that, to make this all possible, God sent His Son. Instead of water to destroy us, God sends water to redeem us, the water of Baptism. It all began with Jesus' baptism in the Jordan, after which the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert to be tempted by Satan But not before Jesus had fasted for forty days and forty nights (just like our Lenten fast of forty days) in order to strengthen Him for the ordeal. And what an ordeal! Jesus is tempted to break his fast (temptation to physical pleasure), tempted to obey Satan rather than the Father (temptation to power), and tempted to acquire all the kingdoms of the earth (temptation to possessions).

And what about us? The Scriptures, as always, provide a blueprint for our Christian journey. The first reading reminds us of all our broken promises, promises we need to renew while holding our lighted candles at Easter. Where do we get the strength? By going into the desert of Lenten prayer, study, penance, and almsgiving. It means emptying our hearts of disorder and sin, so that the Spirit can fill them with new faith, restored hope, and a stronger love.

Dear Lord, stir up in my heart
an ardent desire to renew my heart,
to strengthen my resolves,
and to keep the promises I made to you so long ago.

- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(smartins at frontiernet dot net)

First Sunday in Lent

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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