HOMILY OF THE FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT YEAR B
Genesis 9:8-15, 1Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:12-15.
THEME: STRENGTH TO RESIST THE FORCES AGAINST HUMAN SALVATION
I begin my today’s reflection with a quote by Dr Ashima Godwin which reads, “If you have a calling to be a shelter. Don’t search for shade. Grow in the desert.” And erecting a platform from where I want to drive my today’s message home, I will equally love to drop that popular quotes that, “tough time never last. Only tough people do”. To preach the gospel of salvation, we must be ready to face an ordeal. And the mission is for those who are ready to pay the price of self-deprivation; those who are ready to sacrifice their convenience, so as to conquer the enemy of human salvation.
We see in the gospel, how the Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness. “He was there for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.” Mark 1:12-13. The Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to save humanity and the whole of creation. His mission is not the prerogative of people of chicken heart. His ministry cannot be carried out by those who settled only for their comfort zone. In the work of evangelisation, we tend to face challenges that require only divine intervention to manage. The angels were there in the wilderness to minister to Jesus. It follows that if we follow God’s prompting in our mission, his spirit will be with us to guide and to direct.
Nevertheless, the moment we are commissioned to save souls, there abound temptations and wild beasts of discouragements on the way. These are meant to discourage us or make us give up the noble task. But we cannot, on account of mere side attractions, sell out our nobility to follow the promptings of Satan.
However, we build our courage on the singular fact that God has made a promise which he is set to fulfil in the world. Blessed are those, who despite all the obstacles, would keep their gaze on the mission to save. Moreover, if it was necessary for Jesus to preach to the spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah[1Peter 3:19-20], then we should know how much God is interested in the salvation of the human race.
Putting before us God’s special love and his mission to save, we cannot take the message of Jesus for granted. After the arrest of John the Baptist, Jesus’ mission started. And he proclaimed, “the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel.” Hence, despite the modern days’ disdain for the gospel, we are all called to join in the race of saving souls for Christ. Let us make use of this season of lent to curb all that may prevent us from representing Christ in truth and in spirit.
May the daily tips of pleasure or of fear not kill our courage to preach the gospel of God’s grace. May the Lord grant us the thick skin that can resist the most difficult moment of temptations. May no satanic agenda hold us from sharing in the Lord mission of evangelisation. Amen.