Reflection: First Sunday of Lent

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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[1st Reading – Gen.9:8-15; Ps.24; 2nd Reading – 1Pt.3:18-22; Gospel – Mk.1:12-15]

“Repent, and believe the Good News”

The Church today is reminding us to Repent and Believe the Good News.

Everyone knows what it means “to believe”. We say we believe, we say what we believe in… but if we really believe or not is something else! It seems that, in a culture that has lost its values and therefore does not know where it is heading, it is impossible to believe what cannot be seen, heard or touched. Even so, nowadays, the fact that “belief” is linked to religion makes it something doubtful in the eyes of the secular world. Today’s gospel is talking to us, in today’s world. Do we know where we stand? Do we know where we are heading? The word of God has the answer, if we are ready to learn to listen.

It tells us to “repent”. To repent means, to regret about a past action or omission. It means to take time to stop and reflect, not about others, but about ourselves. When was the last time that we reflected on ourselves? Once the reflection is done, therefore, we know where we stand. If need be (and there is always the need!) we should be sorry about something or some things in our past and therefore… do something to counteract what we really regret – the past actions or omissions.

It is at this moment that once we know where we stand we discover that we need the help of someone else: Someone with a capital “S”; “Someone” who was ready to be part of our human nature and share the “Good News” with us. Not only did He share it, but He himself became the Good News because He is the Emanuel, “God with us”. He is with us to give us the strength that we need to be able to reflect upon our actions, repent and believe, and therefore to continue in our walk to the Father.

The Word of God offers the gift of Faith. God is ready to create a covenant with us, a new one – a covenant which gives us the dignity of what we are, the “image of God”. But what is the use of a God who wants to build a covenant with us when we are not ready to accept him as He truly is? What is the use of not caring for His existence except when something happens to us or to a person dear to us?

Let us turn to Him now. Now is the proper time. Let us find a moment to stop and reflect on our being in this country/world and accept Him as the Good News in our life.

Lord you let the Spirit drive you into the wilderness, where you were tempted by the devil, but the angels looked after you. Give us the humility that we need to truly repent and believe that you are with us.  Thank You Lord!”

 

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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