Branching-Out

'Hear the Word!' by Bill Ayres: First Sunday of Lent

Posted by Bill Ayres on Mar 5, 2022 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the Book of Deuteronomy

(Chapter 26:4-10)

This reading celebrates the deliverance of Israel from the slavery of Egypt and the 40 years wandering in the desert. Moses reminds the people that it was God who brought them out of Egypt “with his strong hand and outstretched arm” and gave them “this land flowing with milk and honey.” Moses tells them that their ancestral father, Abraham, “was a wandering Aramean” but now the people will have to wander no longer, all because God is with them. So worshipers, in thanksgiving, are to bring to the altar, as sacrifice, “the first fruits of the products of the soil.”

Now, thousands of years later, our Jewish brethren celebrate the feast of Sukkot (pronounced sue-coat), the Feast of the Harvest or the Feast of Booths, to recall the tents the people lived in while in the dessert.

Today, let us pray for our sisters and brothers in Ukraine that the Lord may deliver them from their oppressors.

Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 91)

“Be with me O Lord, when I am in trouble.” God is always with us, but too often we are not aware of his presence, except when we are in trouble.

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Topics: Reflections on the coming Sunday's Gospel, first sunday of Lent, RENEW International, Temptation of Christ

'Hear the Word!' by Bill Ayres: First Sunday of Lent

Posted by Bill Ayres on Feb 21, 2021 10:12:16 AM

A reading from the book of Genesis

(Chapter 9:8-15)

The term covenant is essential to understanding God’s relationship with Israel. It means a promise made by God to the people. This is the first covenant between God and his people—a promise to spare future generations from a devastating flood like the one that occurred in Noah’s time. This is all pre-history. There is no historical record, but it is a powerful story in which God makes a broad all-inclusive promise that includes protection of “every living creature.” A whole series of promises follow to Abraham, Moses, David, and Isaiah, each of which calls on the people to repent and be faithful to their promise. This leads to the New Covenant in Jesus Christ which you and I live today.

Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 24)

“Your ways O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.” If we keep our promise, our covenant with God we will live in truth and love. Of course none of us does that perfectly, but part of God’s promise to us is forgiveness, beyond any we can imagine.

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Topics: Lent, Reflections on the coming Sunday's Gospel, first sunday of Lent, New Covenant

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