First Sunday in Lent – Even Year

Posté par diaconos le 13 mars 2024

Live Lent with Love – Sisters of Saint Francis of the Neumann Communities

# The name « Satan » appears in the Hebrew Bible. In four passages of the Bible, the name Satan is used to designate heavenly creatures: book of Numbers 22:22 and 22:32, first book of Chronicles 21.1, book of Zechariah 3.1 and book of Job, chapters 1 and 2. In Numbers and Chronicles, Satan appears in an undefined form. In Numbers, he refers to an angel of Yahweh placed in the path of the prophet Balaam to prevent his donkey from advancing. He was sent by Yahweh and has nothing in common with Satan, as we will understand him later. In the first two chapters of the book of Job, where the term appears 14 times, it always appears in the definite form.

Satan also appears as an allegorical figure in the third chapter of the book of Zechariah. In the fourth vision of Zechariah, the high priest Joshua stands before the angel of Yahweh with Satan accusing him. In the first book of Chronicles, the word Satan appears in the indefinite form. This passage indicates that it was Satan who prompted David to censure the people. In the parallel passage in the second book of Samuel, it was Yahweh who instigated the census.

From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Mark

Jesus had just been baptised. Immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness and there he remained for forty days, tempted by Satan, living among wild beasts, with angels serving him. After John’s arrest, Jesus left for Galilee to proclaim the Gospel of God, saying : « The time is fulfilled: the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel ». (Mk 1, 12-15)

Living a joyful Lent

Jesus had just been baptised. The voice of the Father had been heard: « You are my beloved Son Immediately after this event, the Spirit led him into the desert (Mk 1:9-12). In Mark’s Gospel, the word « immediately » is used very often. It is an important message for us, for the way we live our Christian life. It is not a question of « I will start tomorrow or later when I retire », but about now, right now, that the Lord is waiting for my answer.

For Jesus, this desert was a battle against the devil. He had to fight against the temptation of prestige, power and the wonderful that he would solve all problems. In reality, the devil has nothing to offer. His promises are all lies. And it is still true today : he makes us believe that alcohol and drugs can cure all our anxieties, and in the end it is mental madness. He suggests that troubled couples will be happier if they separate, and in the long run this means suffering for them and their children. Behind the triumphant political slogans, he promises victory over unemployment and ultimately over racial hatred. Satan perverts everything he touches ; this is the sign of his passage.

The great temptation we will have to resist is to do nothing in particular to celebrate Lent. These forty days could be like any other, because too often we are caught up in the usual routine. And it is then that we must remember the ‘now’ of the Gospel. Now or never. The true face of Lent is a smiling face, not a gloomy and depressed one! It is with an enthusiastic and joyful tone that we opened this time of grace on Ash Wednesday : « Repent and believe the Gospel ».

It is a vast programme that we find in this Sunday’s readings. We are all called to conversion, we are all invited: it is an appointment of love. The first step is to listen attentively to the Good News : the encounter with Jesus, whom we think we know and who never ceases to amaze, shake and even shock us with each new contact. It is with this spirit that we can undertake and live this time of opportunity and renewal offered by the ascent towards Easter. Lent is a powerful time that challenges us to reorient our lives, to step out of our routines, to rediscover how much God loves us all and, through the practice of almsgiving and sharing, to help those who are less fortunate.

To live a joyful Lent means to be convinced that the Lord will give us back the joy of being saved and that this joy is already at hand if we open our hearts to Him.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Interesting sites to discover

◊ Loyola Press : click here to read the paper →First Sunday of Lent, Cycle B

◊ The Catholic s Productions : click here to read the paper → The First Sunday in Lent, Year B

VideoDeacon Jeff Losidowsky : click here→Living a « Happy » Lent | YouTube

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