God spoke to Noah and his sons, ‘See, I establish my Covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; also with every living creature to be found with you, birds, cattle and every wild beast with you: everything that came out of the ark, everything that lives on the earth. I establish my Covenant with you: no thing of flesh shall be swept away again by the waters of the flood. There shall be no flood to destroy the earth again.’
God said, ‘Here is the sign of the Covenant I make between myself and you and every living creature with you for all generations: I set my bow in the clouds and it shall be a sign of the Covenant between me and the earth. When I gather the clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the Covenant between myself and you and every living creature of every kind. And so the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all things of flesh.’
First reading for the 1st Sunday of Lent
The Scriptures open with an account of Creation and its goodness, with the privileging of humankind, made in the image and likeness of God and invited to an intimate sharing of life with the Creator.
They continue with stories of human fault and failing, and of human (sometime) striving to respond to God’s offer of reconciliation and restoration.
In Lent we face our own particular history of sin and sorrow, and look for fresh encouragement in the stories of God’s repeated gift of mercy, not least in the formal covenants offered in the Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, culminating in the covenant in Jesus Christ. He is our hope.
And if we will stir ourselves we can help others know that he is their hope also – and by helping them to come to know him, and his love, to understand something of how he is their hope.
Lent is not about turning us in on ourselves, but opening us to the more, the all, that God is and offers
Mosaic. Rosary Basilica, Lourdes. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.