Homily — 1st Sunday Lent B 2/28/09

Homily — 1st Sunday Lent B MMIX            2/28/09

We have begun the Holy Season of Lent.  As Our Lord was led by the Spirit to spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert, as Noah was led by God to spend 40 days and 40 nights on the Ark, so we are led by the Church to spend 40 days and 40 nights in more intense prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

And St. Mark tells us in his Gospel that while Jesus was fasting those 40 days in the desert, many wild beasts were with Him.

In a similar way, the book of Genesis tells us that while Noah was sailing those 40 days in the Ark, many wild beasts were with him.

And during these 40 days of Lent, if you and I really take seriously a daily regimen of prayer, fasting and acts of charity, we’re going to encounter wild beasts like Jesus and Noah did:  the wild beasts that are not around us, but within us.

When we abstain from meat on Fridays in Lent, the wild beast within us will roar for it’s porterhouse steak or pork tenderloin.

When we fast from whatever it is we’ve resolved to fast from, the wild beast within us will crave it.

When we give alms, when we give part of our income to the poor, the wild beast of greed within us will try to talk us out of it.

And the more we turn to the Lord in prayer this Lent, and ask Him to make us more holy like He is, the more we will see how many wild and dangerous beasts there are in our souls that need taming, in other words, how many vices that need to be transformed into virtues.

But just as angels ministered to Jesus (and probably Noah too), to keep those wild beasts from harming Him, so God’s angels will draw near to us this Lent if we follow Jesus into the desert these next 40 days.

So let us turn aside as much as we can from the things of this world and concentrate on the things of God these next 40 days.

In some ways, during Lent, we need to think like Noah did when God told him to build the Ark.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, the meteorologists weren’t forecasting any rain (or even snow!).

But God told him that the time was short, that he needed to get to work now for tomorrow it will be too late.  And Noah took time out of his busy schedule to work each day on building what God wanted him to build.   Lent is when we like Noah take time out of our busy schedule each day to work on building what God wants us to build, which is a pure heart, full of faith hope and love.

May the Angels and Saints, especially our Our Mother Mary and St. Joseph our patron, assist us as we draw nearer to Christ this Holy Lenten Season.

Comments are closed.