First Sunday in Lent - B - February 18, 2018

The Test

After his baptism, Jesus was driven into the desert by the Spirit so he could be tested. Unlike Matthew's and Luke's gospels, Mark did not explain the temptation. Instead, he used it as a transition between the baptism and the ministry of Jesus. Mark would return to the solitude of Jesus again and again to stress the prayer life of the Master.

Sunday Studies:

FIRST READING The book of Genesis told the story of Noah. After the flood, God blessed Noah with the sign of the rainbow, the sign of his mercy for humanity. Never again would God destroy life with a flood.

PSALM Psalm 25 was a supplication song, yet it reflected a style of wisdom literature. It asks for forgiveness so the author can gain wisdom. It begged for mercy so the singer could have a second chance and live according to God's will.

SECOND READING In 1 Peter, the author presented Jesus the Almighty, even in his death. We all believe Jesus is divine, but do we consider his power even at his (and our) weakest point? Yet, that is the power of God at our baptism. Even in death, Jesus was God. Even in death, he raises us up to new life, a life we find in Baptism.

GOSPEL The Temptation of Jesus in the desert is almost non-existent in Mark's gospel. Unlike the three temptations found in Luke and Matthew, the Temptation consisted of a single verse. But we should not overlook that verse. It acts as transition to the theme the Baptist's and Christ's preaching.

Other Resources:

MONDAY AND TUESDAY READINGS Readings for the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time.

ASH WEDNESDAY

READINGS AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY Readings Thursday, Friday and Saturday after Ash Wednesday.

CHILDREN'S READINGS The story to the first reading tries to bring some context of Noah's experience to God's promise. In the story for the gospel, Jenny was scared of the dark, until her brother helped her overcome that fear. Jesus went into the desert to calm his concerns and prepare for the job his Father gave him to do.

CATECHISM LINK In this week's Catechism Link, we discuss temptation and how we can overcome it.

FAMILY ACTIVITY Create a Lenten calendar with activities that will remind your family what the season is really all about.