FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
Also Read: Mass Readings for 21 Feb 2021
First Reading: Genesis 9: 8-15
The Sign of GOD’S Covenant with man.
“God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “As for me I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you. And with every living creature that is with you, the birds the domestic animals and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.”(v.8-10)
“Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”(v.11)
I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. (v.13)
Although man sinned and deserved punishment, GOD set up a covenant with the man! What is the man that GOD must care for? Man is GOD’S own creation, the work of HIS Love! In his infinite Love and Mercy, HE saves us all the time, every time! Amen!
“I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh”.(v.15)
This passage provides us a beautiful reminder of GOD’S Love for creation! The next time we see the rainbow in the sky, we must pause to recollect the great mercies of the LORD on us! Amen!
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 25: 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Want to know His Plan? -Read His word, Hear His voice!
Make me to know your ways O LORD; teach me your paths.(v.4)
It is when we mend our ways and bend our wills to GOD’s plan; GOD blesses us with HIS instructions and that is the beginning of our Wisdom! Apart from God, we could never have true Wisdom!
GOD leads the humble in what is right and teaches the humble his way. (v.9)
Therefore, it is only when we humble ourselves before the Lord, that we gain Wisdom! The Lord is All-Powerful, Creator of the Universe; we ought to humble ourselves before him. In his great Love and Mercy, He has saved us and set a covenant of protection over us. We could learn about His ways if we were to daily and diligently read His Holy Word the Bible!
Second Reading: First Peter 3: 18-22
Redemption by The Water and The Spirit!
“For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to GOD. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.” (v.18)
These words from our First Pope, who lived with the LORD himself; are so powerful! Once for all, JESUS redeemed us! Christ came to the earth as true GOD and True man and bore our sins to the Cross! HE didn’t need to! -YET HE Loved us so much! JESUS is our Victorious Champion Already! And what is the requirement for us to enter into HIS celebratory banquet? – “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Mt.4:17) The King’s own son came here, HE brought HIS kingdom to us and laid out the banquet for us! Are we willing to let go of our little comforts, our pride, our laziness, etc for the sake of an entry into HIS banquet?
“God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark…” (v.20)
The fact that ‘GOD waited patiently’ for the redemption of HIS people (8 on the Ark) is an astounding thought! Again, HE didn’t need to wait then! -HE doesn’t need to wait for us to board HIS Ark! YET HE WAITS! For the creatures, HE lovingly formed, in HIS own image and likeness – The ones who knowingly keep losing their tracks! It is about time we navigate our boats toward HIS ARK!
“…an appeal to God for good conscience, through the resurrection of JESUS CHRIST.” (v.21)
Here, the Baptism in CHRIST is pre-figured by St. Peter -as the floods at Noah’s time were a cleansing of the earth. We have been cleansed in the Baptism of JESUS CHRIST, by Water and by Spirit! Therefore, a purged spirit will employ a good conscience -A fruit of its healing and cleansing! Do we believe that we are Healed, Saved, and Washed Clean? Do our actions then, Spring from a ‘good conscience’!?
Gospel: Mark 1: 12-15
A Lesson in Spiritual Warfare!
“And the Spirit immediately drove HIM out into the wilderness.” (v.12)
Just prior to this passage (v.9-11); we see Christ’s baptism with water and the Spirit descending on HIM. -The spirit was with him in his testing times! May we remember this in our wilderness too! In enduring the drive into the wilderness, Christ symbolizes the original punishment of Adam and Eve! But the vital difference here is that HE was in the Holy Spirit and teaches us Important lessons in dealing with the devil. In Matthew’s version of this episode (Mt.4:1-11), we read how JESUS battled the deceit of the evil one with quotes from the book of Deuteronomy. Therefore, we now have a model to follow in times of temptations. This is why reading the Holy Bible daily must be our utmost priority.
Because of our meandering ways, we might have to persevere in our 40 days a little longer in human time; but we sure do know how we ought to handle it now! -So, Read and Repeat! Amen!
Thank You LORD, Praise GOD!