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Caution: Putting a Sunday homily on the Website is tricky business. All the viewer has is a written text. A homily, on the other hand, is "an oral event". It may not have been said or heard the way it was written. In addition, a roughly ten-minute homily is part of a roughly one-hour worship event in which God and God's people communicate with each other by means of ritual, symbol, song, proclamation, prayer. Not everything in these homilies is original. As a homilist, I rely on and at times borrow from other homilists and writers who are not properly mentioned in this format. I am often indebted to them.

Father William Marrevee, s.c.j.

1st Sunday of Lent Year B

Today's Scripture readings give us three important elements for the Season of Lent:

  1. This reading taken from the Book of Genesis. The particular passage is after the Flood (where God has shown his displeasure and disappointment with what humans have made of God's project). Now God expresses his intent to establish covenant with Noah, with us. And never again shall there be a flood. In fact, the rainbow becomes a symbol that reminds God of his commitment and that assures us of God's promise.

  2. That establishing of Covenant with us is made true in Jesus, in his dying and rising, We come to share and participate in that covenant by baptism. God's approaches us not by threatening death, but by offering life.

  3. The covenant is a gratuitous gift from God to us. God is faithful to that gift. On our part, it takes effort and struggle to accept that gift of the covenant and to be faithful to it. The temptation story is a realistic presentation of what it takes to enter into God's space, God's Kingdom.

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