First Sunday in Lent – Year B
February 18 - March 1
Gospel Lectionary Text
1:9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
1:10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.
1:11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."
1:12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.
1:13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
1:14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,
1:15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news."
This Ash Wednesday, we step into Lent, commemorating Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert before he began his public ministry. Lent is a time of preparation for the coming Easter celebration. It begins with the smearing of ashes on our forehead — a graphic sign of our mortality and the condition of our need for mercy. Morbid? Maybe.
But it’s also one of the most honest Church traditions. A faith that doesn’t deal honestly with the reality of mortality, sin and death sets up the conditions for greater pain, suffering and violence. Lent provides the much needed spirituality of subtraction (fasting) designed to help us limit distractions and get honest about what’s really going on. This truth-telling is made possible by the baptismal blessing in this week’s text, which is the mercy of God poured out on all flesh.
In the silence and stillness of your Lenten wilderness journey, consider: Does your view of God lean towards fear and condemnation, or love and forgiveness?
Word from Below Reflections
By Lina Thompson |
Alimentando El Pueblo (Feeding El Pueblo) is a food distribution initiative that specifically caters to the Latinx community in my area. This idea came from within the heart of the community itself as an answer to food insecurity. Local food banks, as good and as needed as they are, did not have the kinds of foods…
By Lina Thompson |
One of my brothers was a college football All-American. He broke and set many conference and national records. He was a Heisman trophy candidate his senior year, and the third pick in the first NFL draft. This was in the late 1970’s—well before social media. But for what it was, there was quite a bit...
By Joel Van Dyke |
This week we celebrated Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Christians worldwide will enter into a heightened time (40 days) of prayer, reflection, and spiritual companionship with Jesus to the cross. At Street Psalms we are grateful for this annual pilgrimage that awakens our individual and collective hearts to our own true desire.