by Sister Sally Ann Brickner
Today’s Scripture readings set the tone for our entire Lenten journey, which centers on our covenantal relationship with God. The passage from Genesis describes God’s fidelity to Noah and his family (and to us as well). God establishes a covenant and promises never again to destroy the earth and all it holds.
In his first letter, St. Peter assures us that God’s covenant is renewed with us through our baptism when we are plunged into the life-giving waters – not of a flood – but of Christ’s own resurrection. We are assured that in and through Christ we can overcome the powers of evil, whether they come from within ourselves or assail us from without.
St. Mark relates that before beginning His public ministry Jesus spent 40 days in the desert wrestling with temptations from Satan. By walking with our Risen Lord during these 40 days the grace of the Spirit will enable us to be true to our baptismal promises – to reject evil and the lure of Satan and to walk in newness of life.
Considering the Times we live in, with people in positions of power and authority ruled by twisted, worldly ambitions of lust and greed, with lies and deceit their constant companions, partnered with arrogance and violence, I cry out for truth. And in and from this cry, I find myself more and more, not even wanting to 'claim' the name 'God' or 'Christian' as my 'help,' because of the too, too many 'fake Christians' that have used and exploited and continue to use and exploit the name of 'God' and the name 'Christian' to do evil.
This Lent, I am praying for, watching for, and listening for a 'way-out' of this sinful mess. I am praying for, watching for, and listening for the pure-and-sincere of heart. That is the closest I can come to 'God' at this time, I feel. And for me, young children are good reminders for me of what it means to be pure-and-sincere-of-heart. As adults in these twisted Times, let us not thwart, jeopardize, sabotage, or corrupt their innocence.
These 3 questions all persons should abide by and only if able.