First Sunday in Lent – February 18, 2024

Theme: “Go and Proclaim: The Holy Spirit will Help us in our Time in the Wilderness”

First Reading: Genesis 9: 8-17

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 25

Second Reading: 1Peter 3: 18-22

Gospel Reading: Mark 1: 9-15

Homily by Fr. Romie- Jun Peñalosa

GO AND PROCLAIM: THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL HELP US IN OUR TIME IN WILDERNESS

(A RECAPITULATION BASED ON THE HOMILY OF +FR. ROMIE JUN PEÑALOSA)

Today is the first Sunday in the season of Lent. It is also called “Jesus in the Desert Sunday” for it is the time when Jesus was brought in the wilderness by the Holy Spirit.

Lent is a season where we evaluate ourselves and our personal sins. It is also the season where we focus more on the responsibility of fixing our weaknesses.

The gospel of Mark today reminds us of the life we should be living. Like Jesus, we should give time to fast and pray and be ready to be driven away from our comfort zones. Our lives have been a battle for comforts that often we become obsessed with. As a result, we start neglecting things that are important to us such as our relationship with God.

As humans, we are preoccupied with the idea that we should live a beautiful life with no worries, no struggles, we want everything to be simply at peace and at ease. We become obsessed with doing things to make our life comfortable. And because of this, our minds become full and we can no longer think about the things that are really good for us. When we are focused on the glamour of the world, we do not try to ask the right things. To be driven into the wilderness gives us the opportunity to dig deeper into our hearts. In the desert where there is no comfort, we begin to think and ask God the right things, “Why I am here, Lord?” We begin to see God’s perspectives and we learn to forget ourselves.

The purpose of the three disciplines of lent – giving, fasting, and praying, is to push us away from all our obsessions and entitlements so that we can have that space for Jesus who is in us and who is more important in our life. When we begin to see Jesus as the only good thing in us, we begin to see Him also in others. And that changes our perspectives in life. We are no longer self-centered individuals, rather we gain God’s perspectives and become Christ-centered. When we pray and fast, the Holy Spirit will drive us in the wilderness where we truly can reflect the purpose of our life.

So this season of Lent, let us have the discernment of the things that are really good for us and ask God for He will surely give it to us.

 

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