Saturday, February 28, 2009

God is at Hand

March 1, 2009

First Sunday of Lent

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, S.J.

I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings. Genesis 9:13-15

After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." Mark 1:14-15


Make known to me your ways, LORD; teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior. For you I wait all the long day, because of your goodness, LORD. Psalm 25:4-5


Christ came out of his Lent proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead us to God. It is the suffering of Christ that brings us life in the Spirit. His death on thecross opened the gates of heaven to all who believe in him. He is the ‘Way, the Truth and the Life. It is our belief in Christ and our imitation of him that makes our lives into the preaching of the Good News.

During the forty days in the desert, Jesus was tempted by Satan. The Angels of God ministered to Christ. How we minister to one another by our repentance is how the angels guard us and inspire us to do something for others. Prayer, fasting and good works make up our special piety during Lent. How we put controls on our eating unites us to the hungry of the world that Christ is one with when he says whatever we do for thehungry is done for him. To be hungry with Christ hungry becomes a mystical moment. We can be Christ’s suffering for the hungry of the world. Our oneness with their weakness can turn us to Christ in a special way. Piety is the intensity of our search to become more like Christ. We feast on Christ and we fast from the events in our lives thatwould separate us from him. We feast on gentleness and fast from roughness in our relationships with one another. We feast on saying kind things about each other and we fast from criticism. We feast on selflessness and fast from selfishness. We search for ways to be more like Christ by doing things that make our world a little better by ourbeing there. Let us study our lives to find where we need to feast and fast. Our plan needs detail to be fleshed out if we are going to make a difference.


We study our lives to see what even little things in our lives are out of control. The attempt to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and soul needs the inspirations that come from Scripture. Finding a good spiritual book to read during Lent is a good investment because it pays off in touches of eternal life here on earth. We are called tobe Christ to one another and it only happens in the challenges we put to ourselves. Putting on the mind and the heart of Christ is a great work. The greatness that is going to be taken up into Christ is in all the ways we are transparencies of Christ in our actions. We are called to live our lives giving the Christ of our hearts to each other. The actions that we decide to do in his name will be our claim to fame in heaven. While it is true that people can have the goodness of Christ without even knowing Christ, our efforts to make Christ real in our lives challenges all who know us to be better people. Actions speaklouder than words. What we dare to do in the name of Christ is always worthwhile doing. We have the ability to bring God into our lives by the love we have for one another. “Wherever there is love, God is there.”

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