HOMILY – 1 LENT [B] 2018

The Winter Olympics in South Korea is the current sporting phenomenon.  The Commonwealth Games in Queensland will be up next.  Back home, the Halberg Awards last week championed local high achievers in various sporting codes.  We admire the talent and applaud the commitment and discipline that gets people to the top of their game.  We know that success in any area of life does not come easy and is never guaranteed.

With this in mind we place ourselves once again in the arena of Lent – the training camp for Christian life.  There are six weeks ahead of us, offering space and opportunity to toughen up our spiritual lives, to become stronger and more reliable witnesses of the faith we profess.  The strength of one contributes to the strength of all.  Our whole community stands to benefit from each of us putting serious effort into this season of Lent.

Today’s readings evoke the image of baptism, the water that washed us in the name of our God and the promise of God to stay with us.  The desert experience of Jesus readies him for mission while reminding us not to forget or neglect the waters of life.  The training camp of Lent invites us to take the plunge anew and immerse ourselves in the mission to bring the healing that comes with forgiveness, peace, joy and hope into our world.

That’s what I ask you to occupy yourself with over these six weeks.  Begin the process now.  We’ll give ourselves four separate spaces, silently reflecting on how we might prepare ourselves to bring:  forgiveness, peace, joy, hope…

Forgiveness…  How good am I at forgiving?  What would make me better?

Peace…  What sort of peacemaker am I?  How might I improve?

Joy…  What joy do I feel in my life?  How can I bring joy into someone’s life?

Hope…  what do I find most hopeful about life?  How can I hold and share that hope?                                                                              God Bless our Lent!