By Susanna Parent
The readings for the first Sunday this Lent are so rich! They hold the truths I need to cling to throughout these next 40 days. In today’s 1st Reading God speaks to us of his desire to make a covenant with us. A promise of goodness that he will never again destroy the earth with a flood. He says to Noah, “…I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you” (Genesis 9:8). Just two verses later he reminds us, “I will establish my covenant with you.” This is such a great desire of his heart that he even tell us he will set a bow in the clouds as a sign and reminder of his word. The whole reading is proof to us of God’s faithfulness and love. His word should be good enough for us, but he helped aid our trust in him by providing a visible sign…a sign of proof that we so often ask for.
His love for us is reaffirmed in the second reading. The very first verse reads, “Beloved: Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Then we hear that the days of Noah were a prefigurement of baptism. It is so appropriate that we are reminded of our baptism during this first week of Lent, as we prepare to renew our baptismal promises again this coming Easter.
Finally, the Gospel Reading in Mark. Here we are met with realism. For forty days Jesus was tempted in the desert. His temptations were so great, that even the angels came to minister to him. This got me to thinking. We can and should ask our Guardian Angel to pray for us and be with us to help sustain us this Lent. Jesus doesn’t promise us that these next several weeks will be a walk in the park, but he himself has experienced a suffering far greater than what we can even imagine; but he gives us help. He himself wants us to invite him to walk closely with us as we prepare for his rising; and he has provided armies to journey with us: the saints, our loved ones in Heaven and the angels. It is my prayer that you and I walk confidently ahead, with the assurance that we have our friends walking with us and cheering us on.
About the Author:
Susanna Parent serves as Evangelization Manager for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in the Office of Evangelization. She is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry program with the School of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas. When she’s not reading and writing you can find her enjoying life with her new husband, brewing French press coffee in her kitchen, reading wine labels with friends in an effort to discover the perfect Pinot Noir and blogging about her travel adventures.