1st Sunday of Lent

Migrants’ Sunday

First reading: Gn. 9:8–15

God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you: all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals that were with you and came out of the ark. I will establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood; there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth.” God added: “This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you: I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings.”

Second reading: 1 Pt. 3:18–22

Beloved: Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit. In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison, who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

Gospel: Mk. 1:12–15

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.”

In other words

by Fr. Emmanuel Menguito, SVD (St. Arnold Parish Shrine, Cainta, Rizal)

Many of us must have heard of that rather naughty statement: “The best way to fight temptation is to yield.” Naughty, yes, but it is surely not the Christian way.

This is because Jesus who was tempted himself has shown us the example of how to deal with temptations in our lives. The version of Matthew is definitely a better version of the Gospel today from Mark since the Matthean version is more specific on the three temptations that our Lord was subjected to. These three temptations of Jesus are carefully laid out and his responses to the devil’s wily words are for us excellent models to battle against temptations.

How then can we avoid and/or fight the temptations that we encounter in our daily lives? Of the many articles and write-ups that I have read on how to fight temptation, the consistent and common advice is for one to pray. One prays for strength for one can never be presumptuous that he or she is that strong against the evil one. St. James in his letter (James 4:8) says it very well: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” Prayer brings us closer to God who is certainly our eternal source of spiritual strength. 

A second way is to avoid all situations of temptation and sin. If one knows that fire will burn him/her, then why draw even close to it? It is obviously foolish to do so, to say the least.

Third, a saying is in order here. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop” speaks so truly of our vulnerability when we are doing nothing. There is a need for us to keep busy and productive. One’s mind is then taken off the many possible ways by which the devil would have opportunities to tempt the individual. Working, playing some sports, meditating, and relating with people are just some ways to keep us busy. These are only three ways by which we could as good Christians fight against the wiles of the evil one.

We, the living, belong to what is called as the militant Church in what is referred to as the communion of saints. This is because we continue to fight the battles in life, especially in the war against evil. But we fight on because we have God on our side. He certainly will strengthen us in these battles. Yes, in God we truly trust!

This entry was posted in The Word in Other Words and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.