1st Sunday of Lent Year B by Rev. Fr. Isaac A.  Mensah

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1st Sunday of Lent Year B by Rev. Fr. Isaac A.  Mensah

First Reading: Genesis 9:8-15
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: 1Peter 3:18-22
Gospel: Mark 1:12-15

Theme: The Testing Period And God’s Assurance


If you have gone through a traumatic experience, afterward you probably struggled with anxiety about whether it would happen again or not. The mere thought of it brings to mind a feeling of discomfort. Sometimes we vowed to prevent any occasions that may bring about this traumatic experience.

Explanation of the text

Our first reading recounts the unconditional covenant between God and Noah who represents humanity. This is a covenant of renewal, recreation and restoration. This covenant was sealed with a rainbow as a sign of God’s faithfulness. It was also a reminder that God can, and will judge sin (Gen 9, 8- 15; 2 Pt 2, 5).

Noah needed God’s assurance concerning future judgment. He had just come through the most devastating, widespread judgment God has ever inflicted on the human race. Everyone on earth, except Noah and his family, had been destroyed in the flood. All animal life, except that on the ark, died. We can barely imagine the feelings of horror and anxiety which swept over Noah and his family as they emerged from the ark as the sole survivors on the planet. Everyone they knew before was gone.

This was indeed a testing period and time for Noah and his family. Perhaps they might have been wondering if this was going to be the first and last or there were more to come. God had to assure them of His unconditional love for them by entering into a covenant with them; using the rainbow as a sign of His faithfulness.

Our Gospel reading from St. Mark narrates the testing nay the temptation of Jesus and the sacrifices he made in order to prepare himself for his mission and journey. To be a worthy Lamb for the renewal of God’s covenant with his people, Jesus had to be tested. Peter states this more succinctly: “As gold is tested by fire so shall your faith be” ( 1Pt 1:7).

The truth is that no one is beyond temptation. Temptation abounds in our world today. Indeed life itself is full of trials and temptations. However this should not frighten us, because the Holy Spirit that helped Jesus Christ is always available to come to our rescue. This is what our second reading of today echoes.

Lent is a good period for the testing of our Christian faith. A time that we are being called upon to denounce and renounce sin and to embrace the unconditional love of a God who is forgiving and compassionate. Let us use this period of testing to come closer to God who assures us of His love. Remember His grace is sufficient for us even in our weaknesses ( 2Cor 12:9)…



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