First Sunday of Lent 2012
First Reading: Gen.(9:8-15) God makes a covenant with Noah after renewing the earth with the waters of the flood.
Second Reading: 1Pet. (3:18-22) In baptism (prefigured by the flood waters in Noah's time) we pledge our solidarity with
God and find salvation.
Gospel: Mark (1:12-15) The forty day preparation of the baptized Jesus in the desert for his life's mission.
Today's readings speak of hope. They speak of floods and arks of safety, of covenantal rainbows, of being tempted yet proclaiming the Good News. The first reading is a reminder that God's covenant of love is for all generations - not just for a chosen few. This God knows well that as humans with a mind to think and a heart to love, we will be tempted to break our covenant. Not only that, but God's own son, Jesus, was also tempted and had to find the strength to reject the lure of power that was presented to him. The compassion we hear attributed over and over again to Jesus, would have been honed in the crucible of struggle and suffering. We know in our own lives that we could not really learn compassion without having suffered ourselves. We can't really share the burdens of the oppressed unless we have felt the sting of oppression. We can't dry the tears of mourners unless we have felt the sorrow of loss. We can't help others find their way unless we too have struggled in darkness. Today, - the readings remind us that God has been with us throughout all human history, and that when we learn to let go, to float on the covenantal waters of God's love, to renew our lives and retreat to our own desert places, we will have the strength to die to sin and evil.
– Patty Fowler, Presentation Associate