First Sunday of Lent, Year B, 18th February 2018

Your ways, Lord, are faithfulness and love

As we begin Lent, we are invited to follow Jesus into the silence of the wilderness and join with him in prayer and fasting.

Throughout Lent, the Old Testament readings guide us through the history of our salvation. This Sunday we begin with God’s Covenant with Noah and his descendants (First Reading). The rainbow in the sky is a reminder of that loving Covenant, which foreshadows the promises God will later make to Abraham.

The first letter of St Peter (Second Reading) teaches that just as the waters of the flood in Noah’s day led to a new life and Covenant with God, the waters of our baptism lead to new life in Christ.

In the Gospel, after Jesus has been baptised and received the Holy Spirit, he is drawn by the Spirit into the desert. After forty days of fasting and testing in the wilderness, he immediately returns to Galilee and begins to spread the Good News, calling people to repent and turn back to God

The story of both God’s Covenant with Noah and today’s Psalm would have been well known to Jesus. Perhaps we can imagine him praying the psalm and taking comfort from its words: “Lord make me know your ways. Lord teach me your paths. Make me walk in your truth.

Let this be our prayer, too, as we begin our Lenten journey. May Jesus be our guide as we learn to follow his path to salvation. We begin as Jesus did by entering into silence …

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