February 10,2008 1st Sunday Lent Year A

Scripture: Genesis 2:7-9, 3:1-7,
Psalm 51
Matthew 4:1-11

Here it is: Lent again. (This is the earliest Ash Wednesday and Easter since 1913). In the very ancient rite of ashes we hear:
TURN AWAY FROM SIN AND BE FAITHFUL TO THE GOSPEL.
These words must be looked at with the Biblical background in mind. Eg. ‘sin’ is ‘missing the mark’. We aim at the target, but miss. In Lent we acknowledge our misses and start again.
‘The Gospel’ means the joyful message from God through Jesus. The very Kernel of the message of Jesus is: God is love.
Yes, that is the summary and center of Jesus’ life and teaching. It is indeed good news, truly a joyful message. God loves me.
God loves me ? in silence, taste the deep meaning of these words.
God - His attitude towards us humans whom he created is love, compassion, understanding, mercy.
loves ? God knows all my human weakness through and through, and always accepts me as I am ? that is true love.
me ? I am weak, frail; I make resolutions and break them. I tell God I will be more religious, but I fail. He accepts me as I am, not as I think I should be.
In the Sunday readings we see God creating humans, and they refusing to rely on God’s strength and wisdom. But God is love, he is generous, he is compassionate (Psalm 51). God sent his Son Jesus ? true God and truly human. As a true human being Jesus suffered true temptations. So we in our fraility can approach God with confidence.
As a special effort for Lent let us spend 5 quiet minutes in prayer. For example take;
‘God loves me’ and just taste the meaning, chew it over.
This is a truth that can set you free.