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Sunday Readings Commentary and Reflections 1 st Sunday of Lent B February 22, 2015 In preparation for this Sunday’s liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies.

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Presentation on theme: "Sunday Readings Commentary and Reflections 1 st Sunday of Lent B February 22, 2015 In preparation for this Sunday’s liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sunday Readings Commentary and Reflections 1 st Sunday of Lent B February 22, 2015 In preparation for this Sunday’s liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM

2 1 st Reading: Gen 9,8-15   8 God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 "See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you: all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals that were with you and came out of the ark. 11 I will establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood; there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth.“ 12 God added: "This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you: 13 I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, 15 I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings. The focus is on the covenant.

3 1 st Reading: Gen 9,8-15 God’s covenant with Noah, his sons and living creatures   8 God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 "See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you: all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals that were with you and came out of the ark. God’s covenant which contains his promise not to send flood again   11 I will establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood; there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth.“ Sign of the covenant   12 God added: "This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you: 13 I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, 15 I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings. A simple outline!

4 Textual Context Outline of Pre-History (Genesis 1-11) 1. Gen 1,1--2,4a The creation of the world 2. Gen 2,4b--3,24 The creation of man and woman and the expulsion from paradise 3. Gen 4,1-16 Cain and Abel 4. Gen 4,17-26 The Cainites 5. Gen 5,1-32 The succession of generations in the primeval period 6. Gen 6,1-4 The sons of the gods and the giants 7. Gen 6,5--8,22 The flood 8. Gen 9, Blessing and covenant 9. Gen 9,18-27 Noah and his sons 10. Gen 10,1-32 The table of the nations 11. Gen 11,1-9 The Tower of Babel 12. Gen 11,10-26 The Genealogy of Sem

5 1 st Reading: Gen 9,8-15 God’s covenant with Noah, his sons and living creatures   8 God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 "See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you: all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals that were with you and came out of the ark. God’s covenant which contains his promise not to send flood again   11 I will establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood; there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth.“ Sign of the covenant   12 God added: "This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you: 13 I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, 15 I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings. Commentary   The word “covenant” is repeated many times (vv.9,11,12,13,15)   In vv.8-10, God establishes a covenant with Noah and his descendants, including all the saved living creatures.   In the covenant, God promises never again to send the great flood and not to destroy anyone. V.11   In v.12, God assures that he will keep his promise. He does it through a sign: bow in the cloud (v.13).   The rainbow will remind God of the covenant, not to destroy human beings and living creatures.

6 Reflections on the first reading   We, Christians, must realize that many times destruction is caused by our sins.   After the destruction is restoration.   God initiates restoration.   God rebuilds / re-creates by using good people, like Noah.   Are we good people? Can he use us to rebuild what is destroyed?

7   If we think we are not good people, think again, it is time for us to repent.   We must repent from: violence, wickedness in the heart, titanic lust. These are the sins committed by people before the flood.   We must show our appreciation for God’s new creation, by being like him: renewing, re- creating; also by being like Noah, who is just and obedient to God’s plan.   We are also covenanted with him by virtue of our baptism.   God promises to protect us from destruction.

8 Resp. Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9.  R. (cf. 10) Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.  4 Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, 5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.  6 Remember that your compassion, O LORD, and your love are from of old. 7 In your kindness remember me, because of your goodness, O LORD.  8 Good and upright is the LORD, thus he shows sinners the way. 9 He guides the humble to justice, and he teaches the humble his way.

9 Resp. Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9.  R. (cf. 10) Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.  4 Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, 5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.  6 Remember that your compassion, O LORD, and your love are from of old. 7 In your kindness remember me, because of your goodness, O LORD.  8 Good and upright is the LORD, thus he shows sinners the way. 9 He guides the humble to justice, and he teaches the humble his way. Commentary   The psalm is classified as individual lament.   In vv.4-5, the psalmist prays for the Lord’s guidance  God’s ways, God’s paths, God’s truth   In v.6, the psalmist recognizes that God has long been compassionate and loving.   In v.7, the psalmist prays to God not to forget him, out of his kindness and goodness.   V.8 affirms God as good and upright.   As a result, God guides sinners to holiness.   V. 9 affirms God guiding the humble to justice and to God’s way.

10 Reflections on the Psalm  We, Christians, must identify God as a compassionate and loving God.  He does not want our destruction or perdition.  We must pray for his guidance so that we may make wise decisions and have correct values.  Do you pray to God for guidance? Do you approach people whom God may be using to guide you?  Do you have spiritual director?

11 2 nd Reading: 1 Pet 3,18-22   18 Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the spirit. 19 In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison, 20 who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. 21 This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him. The focus is on Christ’s suffering and death.

12 2 nd Reading: 1 Pet 3,18-22 Christ’s suffering and death   18 Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the spirit. Christ going down to “sheol” (limbo)   19 In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison, 20 who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. 21 This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him. A simple outline!

13 Textual Context FORMAL DIVISION (Brown) A. Opening Formula: 1:1-2 B. Body: 1:3--5:11 1:3--2: 10: Affirmation of Christian identity and dignity 2: 11--3:12: Appropriate behavior for bearing good witness in a pagan world 3: 13--5: 11: Christian behavior in the face of hostility C. Concluding Formula: 5:12-14.

14 2 nd Reading: 1 Pet 3,18-22 Christ’s suffering and death   18 Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the spirit. Christ going down to “sheol” (limbo)   19 In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison, 20 who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. 21 This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.Commentary  V.18 talks about Jesus, the righteous, who suffers once, and dies for the unrighteous (v.18).  His physical death has a purpose: to bring us to God (v.18).  By his death, he himself is put back to life (resurrected). (theological passive, no mention of the actor God)  Jesus’ death brings him to the netherworld to preach to the once disobedient people. Vv  Vv recall some details about the flood during Noah’s time.  In V.21, the floodwater prefigures (predicts) the water of baptism that saves.  The water of baptism cleanses not the body, but the conscience.  It is made possible through the resurrection of Jesus, who has ascended into heaven.

15 Reflections on the second reading JJJJesus has done a lot of favors to all of us through his suffering and death. TTTTo save the unrighteous TTTTo save the disobedient TTTTo cleanse us from guilt WWWWhat is our response? WWWWe take the cue from the meaning of our baptism. TTTThrough baptism, we enter into a covenant (alliance, contract, friendship, special relationship) with God. AAAAccording to our catechism, we put our faith in God. In him alone do we trust. WWWWe avoid the seductions of the devil (Satan). TTTThe devil (evil personified) is a great distorter. He says it is good when it is actually bad and vice versa.

16 Gospel Reading: Mark 1,12-15 Jesus in the desert   12 The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, 13 and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. Jesus proclaims the gospel   14 After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: 15 "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." The focus is on repentance. A simple outline! "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.“ – Mk 1,15

17 Textual Context  Mark 1,1 The Title  Mark 1,2-3 Prophesy  Mark 1,4-8 John the Baptist and the people  Mark 1,9-11 John the Baptist and Jesus  Mark 1,12-13 Temptations of Jesus  Mark 1,14-15 First Words of Jesus  Mark 1,16-20 Call of the First Disciples  Mark 1, Jesus in Capernaum / Exorcism  Mark 1, Healing Peter’s mother-in-law

18 Gospel Reading: Mark 1,12-15 Jesus in the desert   12 The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, 13 and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. Jesus proclaims the gospel   14 After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: 15 "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."Commentary  After the baptism of Jesus, he is driven out into the desert by the Spirit. V.12  V.13 indicate the number of days he remains in the desert (40 days).  40 days recall the 40 years of the Israelites in the desert.  There Satan tempts him. (literally, was [always] tempting Him)  V.13 also mentions the company of Jesus: the wild beasts and the angels.  V.14 tells what happens right after his stay in the desert.  He goes to Galilee and proclaims the gospel of God.  V.15 explicitates what the gospel of God is:  This is the time of fulfillment… kingdom of God is at hand…  Repent, and believe in the gospel.

19 Reflections on the gospel reading  Imagine  Imagine the tremendous effort of Jesus in wrestling with the devil for 40 days in the desert.  Jesus  Jesus emerges victorious, so that afterwards, he proclaims right away the “gospel of God” in Galilee (his victory over evil / coming of God’s kingdom).  The  The proper response to his proclamation is: repentance repentance and faith in him (belief in his story).  Our  Our story is different from that of Jesus. Our story is that of always falling into temptation.  Repentance  Repentance / believing in the gospel means rejecting the schemes of the devil and belonging to the kingdom of God. You also have to exert tremendous effort.

20 Tying the three readings and the Psalm   The 1 st reading talks of the covenant of God with Noah, in which God promises never to send the deluge again.   The psalm shows appreciation of a repentant to God’s loving guidance.   The 2 nd reading recalls the deluge as a pre-figuration of our baptism (cleansing, repentance), where we promise to abide by God’s rules, not Satan’s.   The gospel reading invites us to repent, and to believe in His story about to unfold. We focus on repentance being in the season of Lent.

21 How to develop your homily /sharing  The Season of Lent is a time of repentance, in preparation for a joyful celebration of Easter.  What is repentance?  Based on the first reading, repentance is turning away from violent and destructive behavior.  Just as God promises never to send the flood again, so must we promise not to commit injustices and immoralities again, so as not to earn the ire of God.

22   Based on the second reading, repentance is cleansing ourselves of sin and guilt, to become godly, through the suffering and death of Jesus.   Repentance is being obedient to God from now on.   Repentance is appreciating the meaning of our baptism (living as children of God with dignity and freedom).

23  Based on the gospel reading, repentance is constantly listening to the call of Jesus, who knows how to contain evil.  Jesus calls us to repentance, because we are not like him.  We are not that strong in the midst of trials.  When we are tested (tempted), we easily give in, for lack of spiritual principles.

24  When provoked, we become offensive and utter nasty words. We show our pangs.  When enticed to possess more property, to be more glamorous, and to be more famous, we abandon our loved ones and moral principles.  We betray our friends and our God. We don’t communicate with them any more. There is no more intimacy.

25   We can only repent when we admit we have done something wrong, truly wrong…   Repentance presumes admission of sin and guilt.   Those who say they are doing ok, they have not hurt anyone, they have not offended anyone, they are not aware of any sin, and, therefore, they don’t feel the need to repent.   These are the people whose conscience has not been formed.   They have not examined their lives well. They lack sensitivity.   They are self-righteous.   They imply that they are right and God is wrong.

26  We, Christians, can repent only when we admit our sinfulness and that God is holy and awesome.  Admission of our commissions, omissions, shortcomings, excesses, lack of love and affection, lack of charity, self-centered lives, greed, and laziness to pray, paves the way to repentance and conversion.

27   The eucharist is the gift of God for the repentant sinner.   The eucharist strengthens us in following the footsteps of Jesus that always invite us to repent.   The eucharist strengthens us in our fight against evil.   The eucharist prepares us best for Easter.

28 Our Context of Sin and Grace  Unrepentant sinners  Hardened criminals  Backsliders  Self-righteous  Always putting the blame on others.  Weak to resist temptations  Loose morals  Repentant sinner  Meaningful baptism  Does not give in to seductions and enticements of anyone  Living with principles  Does not compromise with evil  Sacrament of confession  Contrite heart, improves behavior

29 Suggested Songs  Panginoon, maawa ka    Lord, I Lift up My Soul, for the Psalm   Paano Namin Masasabi   For the Year of the Consecrated Life   You can read my article in the Sambuhay for this Sunday.


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