First Sunday of Lent - Year B - 18th February, 2018
In the 6th chapter of the book of Genesis - this word means ‘origin of the heavens and earth'- we read ‘Noah was a good man-an upright among his contemporaries and he walked with God.
God said to Noah ‘I have decided that the end has come for all living things for the earth is full of lawlessness because of human beings. I am about to destroy them and the earth. Make yourself an ark out of resinous wood. With you, I shall establish my covenant and you will go aboard the ark- yourself, your sons, your wife and your sons’ wives with you. From all living creatures you must take, you must take two of each kind aboard the ark to save their lives with yours. They must be male and female. Lay in a store of food.... ’
Heavy rain fell on the earth 40 days and 40 nights. When the floods disappeared Noah came out, built an altar and sacrificed animals.
God said, ' Breed, multiply and fill the earth. When I gather clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds I shall recall the covenant between myself and you and every living creature.’
The word ‘covenant' means a solemn promise made freely by God to Noah and later on to Abraham and Moses. Noah was very aware of being saved by God from the flood.
I think Lent is a time for me - with God's help to be more aware of what God has done for me and all people through the life, death and resurrection of Christ. I am aware of sin in my life. Christ broke the power of sin in my life and in the lives of all people, living, dead and yet to be born. He experienced a very painful death and a glorious resurrection.
Do I believe that Christ will be with me when I die and that I too will rise again? In today's Gospel we have the words of Jesus 'Repent and believe the Good News’. In St Luke's Gospel Ch. 22 at the Last Supper we read that, 'Then he took bread and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them saying, ‘This my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me’. ‘He did the same with the cup after supper and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood poured out for you'.
As a lay person Ignatius of Loyola wrote a book called 'Spiritual Exercises' in it he suggests that I look at Christ on the cross and ask myself 3 questions. What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What will I do for Christ? with God's help Ignatius became a saint. Am I willing to respond to the words of Jesus: Repent and believe the good news?
Fr. Noel Travers C.M.