Saint Mary of the Angels homilies and reflections

Homily. March 1, 2009 First Sunday of Lent. Bob VerEecke, SJ
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First Sunday of Lent.  March 1, 2009.  Bob VerEecke, SJ

 

 

Seen any rainbows lately? Probably not with all the snow. You need the right conditions for rainbows. I don’t know about you but I think rainbows are one of God’s best surprises. All of a sudden you hear “look, there’s a rainbow” and wow you are just taken up in the beauty of color and light. Yes, I know there are scientific explanations for what you see but still, it’s really beautiful. And of course, when the conditions are right you do look for a rainbow. You have a sense that you’ll find one and often times you do.

 

Seen any rainbows lately? We’re certainly being flooded with bad news in our economy, in the job market. Certainly feels longer than 40 days and nights and we hear that this flood could destroy even more livelihoods. So it’s only human to look for the rainbows, the hopeful signs, the signs of God’s promise, the signs of beauty and light.

 

I think our rainbow today is Erica as she prepares to enter the flood waters of Baptism only to emerge in the light and the beauty of the risen Christ. Today Erica becomes one of the elect, one of the chosen as she goes to the Cathedral with her sponsor and friends. In a few minutes we’ll be ‘sending” her.

 

I can’t imagine that Jesus, driven into the desert, saw any rainbows. Are there rainbows in the desert/wilderness? I don’t know. It seems from the stories that Jesus was flooded with temptations. What were they?  Mark doesn’t tell us.  Just that he was tested, tempted? What were his temptations?  What are yours?  What do you find really tempting?  Devil’s food cake?  Perhaps the biggest deception (That is who Satan is the deceiver) is to think that our temptations are about over indulging; too much food, drink, pleasure of all kinds. And not enough abstinence.  The great deception is to lose sight of who we are, beloved children of God.  That’s what Jesus heard in his baptism.  That had to be what grounded him in the wilderness. Those words, “I love you”. But in his loneliness in the wilderness, with all those wild beasts, the sounds of the night, the negative voices that say, “you’re not really going to trust, are you?” You can go it alone… whatever the voices were saying to him, all were trying to move him from the mission.

 

Jesus comes out of the wilderness/desert as a man on a mission. He is able to confront the demons, say no to the distractions, keep his eyes fixed on the prize.  And that’s why he is someone we want to walk with in Lent. We need Jesus to walk with us. And is there a better person to walk with than Jesus!  His is the voice that we need to tune into and tune out the rest.  He is the rainbow, no so much, much more.  He is the real sign of God’s promise, God’s pledge. And he is the one that our elect will walk with.

 

 

 

 

 

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