For a full copy of the Newsletter please click on the link; Lent First Sunday 180218 update
Keep It Simple…..
For the first weekend of Lent we are given probably Jesus’ first homily – and he provides all future preachers with an excellent example – keep it simple! Picture the scene – he has just come out of the desert after 40 days of prayer, fasting and struggle; he has spent his whole life leading up to this one moment and in the end it is only 19 words – ‘the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Good News.’
I must say, for a first attempt at a homily, it is pretty impressive! You notice in these 19 words that there are two short statements followed by a call to action. The first statement is ‘the time is fulfilled’, in other words, the time has arrived, the long wait is over. Don’t be distracted or make excuses for not responding as you know you should. Don’t be wasting your time by looking for someone else. The time is fulfilled – Jesus is the one!
The second statement is ‘the kingdom of God is at hand’. Central to Jesus’ message is the proclamation of the Kingdom of God which is experienced through him. No matter what happens or what situation we find ourselves facing, evil will not overwhelm us. It means that we should act with courage for, ultimately, God will triumph over sin. So don’t be afraid to face this day, this week, with this knowledge and confidence.
These two short statements lead to a conclusion that demands action from the hearer: ‘repent, and believe in the Good News’. From this final statement it is obvious that there are some practical implications demanded from us. Only you can identify those “practical implications”. Only you can decide to respond or not. Don’t be afraid, for each of us it will be different.
So there you have it – 19 words which should make sense of these 40 days of Lent. Jesus’ first homily was really just a simple challenge – perhaps all that is required from us is a simple response!
At this start of this first week of Lent,
I wish you every blessing.
Fr Peter Brannelly