God does not wait for mankind to become good, He is generous with all

1st Sunday of Lent

Gen. 9: 8-15; Psalm 24; 1 Pt. 3: 18-22; Mark 1: 12-15

Read: “I will set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant I make between myself and the earth. When I gather the clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the covenant between myself and you and every living creature of every kind. And so the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all things of flesh.”

“The time has come and the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Gospel”.

Reflect: The sacred author of the Book of Genesis makes use of the story of the great flood of the time of Noah., not to teach that God loses His patience and punishes – God never brought about the flooding nor any other disaster – but to encourage us not to lose heart in the face of the evil that exists in this world. Even when evil appears to surpass all limits, man that has faith in God will still have hope, because he knows that God decided to create human nature afresh, not from the ashes of man, but from the destruction of the evil society created by man. God does not lose heart in the face of evil. He mends and builds afresh. He starts a new humanity and promises only good things and every blessing: “I will make a new covenant with you, that never will any living creature be destroyed by flood waters; and never will there be a flood to ruin the earth”. God does not vouch that He will not punish mankind on condition that he does not sin again. However, He committed Himself that He would give His blessing always and in every case. This is a message of consolation that the Bible sends from its very first chapter: God does not wait for mankind to become good before He is generous with all. He greets every person as it is, and with love; changes that person to a new creation.

Pray: “Let me God, open my mouth in the presence of your mercy, though I am dust and ashes. Let me therefore, speak because it is your mercy that I will be talking to, and not to a person who will scold me. Probably, initially You will think of scolding me but then You turn to me mercifully”. (St. Augustine, Confessions 1,6)

Act: Confident that this God approaches us as we are, let us therefore accept Jesus’ invitation in the Gospel: “God’s Kingdom has come; repent and believe the Gospel”.  Let us do this by, during Lent, by depriving ourselves of something to be given to the poor; reading and reflecting on, in advance, the readings that will be accompanying Mass; trying to make an act of charity daily; praying for our neighbour; and using all means that could bring us closer to God’s mercy.

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