Lent Week 1
February 21, 2021
This first Sunday of Lent we are reminded of God’s desire to always be in relationship with us and God’s fidelity to us. St. Peter tells us in the second reading that God’s covenant with Noah and “with every living creature” (the first reading) prefigures baptism, our immersion into grace; i.e., God’s very life. The Gospel recounts Jesus’ temptation in the desert. In the midst of fasting and struggling with Satan, Jesus chooses to be faithful to his relationship with the Father. With John Baptist in prison, Jesus emerges from the desert “proclaiming the gospel of God: ‘This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’”
Today the church celebrates the Rite of Election. The catechumens who have been discerned for Initiation into the Church are presented to the Bishop. With testimony from those who prepared them and from the parish community, the bishop receives them and declares them “The Elect.”
For them, Lent is an intense period of Purification and Enlightenment. For those already baptized, Lent is an intense period of renewal.
Set aside some time to think about your baptism, your call to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and to live as His disciple. Recall some of the people and events in your life that have helped you experience and grow in your relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Think of a way that you will share the love of the Trinity throughout Lent, especially with those most in need.
Lectio Divina is an ancient form of praying with Scripture. Learn more about its origins and the process.
Suggested Scripture passages for lectio divina or other formats of prayer this week:
Psalm 25: 4-9
Your ways, O Lord, make known to me;
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
Remember that your compassion, O Lord,
and your love are from of old
In your kindness remember me, O Lord.
because of your goodness, O Lord.
Good and upright is the Lord,
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and he teaches the humble his way.
Jesus was tempted by Satan, and the angels ministered 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 gospel.”
Set up symbols and/or photos of baptism in a space you use daily; e.g., a small bowl of water, a candle, a cross and small cruet of oil. Set a time to share memories of or reflect on the celebration(s) including choosing a name or names. Look up the meaning of your name(s) and remember with gratitude parents, godparents and others who showed and taught you about God’s abiding love and fidelity.
Put a prayer basket on a table you pass by each day. Put the names of the people you recalled when you thought about experiencing God’s love and the hope we have in Christ. This week pick out one name each day and call, write, e-mail and/or pray for that person.
Fast to help feed those in need; download the CRS Rice Bowl app at the App Store.