1st Sunday in Lent Year A


We began our annual observance of Lent with Ash Wednesday, and on this first Sunday of lent, each of us may consider answering this question: ‘How am I to celebrate this season?’ asking the Lord to create a pure heart for me.

The word ‘Lent’ comes from the Old English word lencten meaning springtime or ‘the lengthening of days’; it is a time of renewal, of coming back to life in nature, a time for the birth of young animals, and of looking forward. In keeping with the season, our Lent can be one of invitation to our renewal in the ways of living with and for God; a time to recognize the love of God made visible to us in creation; a time to notice those ways in which we fall short of the desires that God has for each one of us and our world, and to pray for the grace to live more fully according to God’s ways.

We are familiar with ‘giving up for Lent’: perhaps this year, our ‘giving up’ may be of those things in our lives that are getting in the way of valuing all that God has given us, of allowing God to deepen God’s life in us. It may help to take time to notice and to speak with our Lord about what this means for me.

The readings speak of our choice to listen to God’s voice or be tempted by evil: Adam and Eve are seen to succumb to the tempting voice, but Jesus is steadfast in his rejection of temptation. The Psalm is a prayer of one who knows their sinfulness but also that God’s love and mercy are more powerful than their weakness. St Paul celebrates the freedom from sin that Jesus brings us. Jesus’s gift of love overcomes our sins and brings us to life.

Joy and peace.