St. Wilfrid's Roman Catholic Church

Toronto, Canada

St. Wilfrid, Our Patron
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Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 33rd week in Ordinary Time - Memorial of St. Cecilia

Reflections

for Sunday, February 22, 2015

You and I must repent our sins and turn to the Lord! It is as easy as that as we begin Lent. Yet, if we have been observing Lent for many years, we know that repenting of our sins and turning to God is an ongoing task and not always an easy one! We need not fear God. God has promised His love for us and promised with an everlasting covenant in Jesus Christ that He will save us.

Lent is about us doing our part of the Covenant. Far too often we speak of the Old and the New Testament and forget the Old Covenant and the New Covenant-in His blood. You and I have made a pact with God. He is always faithful and we are not.

The readings today begin in Genesis, with the covenant made with Noah. We know that in the Old Testament, the Old Covenant, there were many covenants. God continues to make covenants with us today if we listen to His voice. The covenant made with Noah is made with all of us. The covenant made with Moses is also made with all of us. We need to hear these covenants and the stories about covenants over and over and we need to meditate on them.

The second reading to day is from the First Letter of Peter, repeating the theme of the first reading: God has made a covenant with His people. We need to pay attention to this second reading: baptism is not a removal a dirt from the body, it is an appeal to God for a clear conscience.

When we sin, it is clear that we are not seeking a good conscience. After we sin, if we continue to seek the Lord, we can sense this desire for a clear conscience which once again desires the Lord and His holy will. If we listen to our conscience, we begin to understand that our conscience can be weak or it can be clear and firm. In this time of Lent, we are praying to have a good conscience, a conscience that is clear and firm, a conscience that wants to be clear now and firm in seeking the Lord.

So we turn to the Gospel from Mark today. Jesus is driven into the desert by the Spirit. This is part of the preparation of Jesus for His ministry to His own people and to us. The forty days that Jesus spends in the desert are to be our model during these forty day of Lent: driven by the Spirit of the Church.

If we listen attentively to the Spirit in these forty days, our lives will surely change and we will come to the end of Lent changed in many ways. Let us rely on God's word to us and enter into these forty days with faith. We do not know what God will do to us in the forty days, but it will be for our salvation and for the salvation of others. Let us go forth to die with Him so that we may live with Him. Amen.

 
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Genesis 9.8-15
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3.18-22
Gospel: Mark 1.12-15

Homily from Abbot Philip, OSB, of the Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert.

   

Reflections are available for the following Sundays:

2017
2016
2015

St. Wilfrid's Parish, Toronto