Sunday Sipping: First Sunday of Lent

First Sunday in Lent
First Reading: Genesis 9:8-15
Psalm 25:4-9
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22
Gospel: Mark 1:12-15

In today’s readings, we are hit with the imagery of the flood. The First Reading recounts God’s promise to never destroy mortal beings with water. In reciting the Psalm, we allude to that covenant, singing of God’s love from of old. Furthermore, from the Second Reading, St. Peter demonstrates the foreshadowing relationship between the story of the flood and Baptism. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we are saved through water.

Oddly enough, this imagery ostensibly disappears at the Gospel. We are presented instead, with the stark aridity of the desert. However, I challenge you to look again. Yes the dryness of the desert is the background of the Gospel, but this time, the Flood in question is Jesus Christ Himself! God is faithful to His promises and now has sent not a flood to destroy, but a Flood that will save! By our Baptism, we are incorporated into Christ’s action of inundating the world with God’s Love. By our Baptism, we are able to echo our Lord’s actions and His words, to proclaim that this is the time of fulfillment, that the Kingdom of God is at hand, and to call sinners to repentance and belief in the Gospel.

Throughout these Forty Days of Penance, as we are mindful of the desert, may God fortify us in this mission to drench the people, the places, the events, and the things around us with His over-abundant Love and Mercy! A blessed First Sunday of Lent to you all!