February 22, 2015 – First Sunday of Lent
Gn 9: 8-15; Ps 25: 4-9; 1 PTt3: 18-22; Mk 1: 12-15
It is no surprise that water literally runs through all the readings on this First Sunday of Lent — from the flood waters experienced by Noah in Genesis, to St. Peter comparing Baptism to this flood, to Jesus venturing into the desert for 40 days immediately after His Baptism, as reported by St. Mark.
There are more than 700 references to water in Holy Scripture, but as we begin our Lenten journeys, our concentration needs to be on our own Baptism and our personal Baptismal call. Stewardship has been defined as our response to that Baptismal call through discipleship and service. Just as Jesus entered the desert for 40 days, we are doing the same during Lent.
Defining our Baptismal call is part of what we should be striving to do at this time. Baptism calls us to a sense of mission. Another key word in today’s scripture is “covenant.” The reading from Genesis speaks to God’s covenant with us, His people. A covenant, nevertheless, is a two-way street. God has blessed us with the Holy Spirit and the Lord has promised us everlasting life if we fulfill His desires. It is time for us to discover how we are going to live out our covenant with God.