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Scripture Reflection - February 18, 2024

First Sunday of Lent

Genesis 9:8-15 | Psalm 25     | Peter 3:18-22     | Mark 1:12-15

Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York Scripture Reflection

Covenant, Baptism, Redemption: these are the themes of the Word this week. In the first reading we are reminded of the covenant God made with Noah in retelling the story of the flood. The covenant that God made was made not just to Noah but to his descendants and all living beings. Truly, this is the first promise that we are all one with the creator.

In the psalm we again refer to the covenant and ask for guidance in knowing and understanding the Lord’s truth and ways of redemption, compassion and justice.

The Letter of Peter speaks to the waters of the flood representing Baptism, the water that saves us. Baptism is not a removal of dirt from our bodies but rather an appeal to God for a clear conscience through the power of the resurrection of Jesus. What Jesus sought in the desert was to know and understand what he was called to do.

“Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” Truly, Jesus demonstrated this during his 40 days in the desert. He was tempted by evil and saved by angels. We, too, are often tempted in this life. We are tempted by false prophets, tempted by false advertising, tempted by the lure of wealth, fame and notoriety. We are asked to repent and believe in the gospel when we are anointed with ashes at the beginning of Lent. Another work word for repent is to turn around or turn away from temptations which are ever present in our lives. This is not an easy task, but for the grace given by God through Jesus which gives us the strength to resist that which would lead us astray.

The word Lent comes from a source that means springtime or lengthening of days. May your springtime lengthen in you and bloom with the trust that new life will emerge within your soul and make our covenant with God blossom.

Sr. Joan Agro, OP


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