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DRIVEN BY THE SPIRIT: Repentant, Forgiven

Posted on Feb 16, 2018

1st Week in Lent
RCIA Sessions for February 18 & 22 

SUNDAY'S READINGS 
Genesis 9:8-15
Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10
1 Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:12-15

 "This prefigured baptism, which saves you now." -cf. 1 Peter 3:18-22

"The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan.   ...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.'"   -cf. Mark 1:12-15

CALENDAR:

  • RITE OF SENDING at St. Monica Masses this weekend: For all candidates, catechumens and their sponsors and families, at the 7:00 pm Mass Saturday, or the 10:00 am Mass or 12:30 pm Mass on Sunday.  Come 30 to 45 minutes early!
  • RITE OF ELECTION/CALL TO CONTINUING CONVERSION at the Cathedral this Sunday:  For all candidates & catechumens with their sponsors and families:  be inside the Cathedral by 5:15 pm in the Reserved section - as directed when you arrive.  Be sure to check in with one the St. Monica RCIA Team when you arrive!
  • THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22: Movie night in Spanish in gym for RCIA Spanish-speaking families.  Everyone else meets in St. Augustine for a bilingual Seder Meal followed by a short talk by Fr. Todd. 
  • The Penitential Rite for candidates happens only once: it will be February 24 & 25 at the 7 pm, 10 am, 12:30 pm, and 3 pm Masses.
  • MARCH 3 RCIA RETREAT:  For RCIA Families the Retreat will be 9 am to noon on March 3 in the Cafteria.  For RCIA Adults the Retreat will 9 am to 5 pm in St. Augustine: bring the food you signed up to bring.
  • RCIA Sessions on March 1 will begin in the normal rooms at the usual times.  After a 1/2 hour of class on March 1, there will be a Spanish Walk thru the Mass in Church and an English Walk thru the Mass in the Chapel.  
  • RCIA Sessions on March 8 will begin in the normal rooms at the usual times.  At 8:30 pm on March 8 the evening will conclude in Church with the minor rite, Presentation of the Creed.

PRACTICE THE FAITH: Repent, Believe, Be Baptized

  • Lent is about Baptism and Repentance.  How are you doing putting on "sackcloth and ashes" - clearing out your life for living ONLY God's will, and forsaking all else?  Are you praying?  Fasting?  Giving yourself and your resources to others, especially those who are in need?
  • How is God working through you so far this Lent, to bring you closer to Himself?
  • What do you believe about God?  Are you ready to make your baptismal promises - or to renew them - this Easter?

Stations of the Cross - every Friday in Lent at 6:00 pm in the Church - by the Youth Group

Weekly Confession Times in Lent

  • Monday-Thursday: 6:00-7:00 pm
  • Friday:  3:00-4:00 pm
  • Saturday:  9:00-11:00 am & 3:00-5:00 pm
  • Sunday:  7:00-8:00 am and 9:00-10:00 am and 11:30 am -12:30 pm and 2:00-3:00 pm and 5:00-6:00 pm

Written "Guide" on how to go to Confession - whether it is your first or hundredth time.  Or watch these two videos online: Confession 101, Part One & Confession 101, Part Two.

CONNECTIONS:   Repent; Believe

The Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels, it was also the first written and served as one of the sources for both Luke and Matthew's Gospels.  Since we started listening to this Gospel on Sundays in January, we have noticed the great "Messianic secret" - Jesus telling all who know him to keep quiet.  Another feature of this Gospel is its brevity: while Matthew and Luke have a lot to say about Jesus' temptations for 40 days in the desert, Mark says simply that the Spirit "drove" Jesus to the desert, that he was tempted by Satan there for 40 days, and that he was among wild beasts and ministered to by angels.  There are no more details than that - quite an economy of words!

What, do you think, is the significance of Mark writing that the Holy Spirit "drove" Jesus into the desert after his baptism? 

Luke writes that Jesus, "filled with the Holy Spirit...was led by the Spirit into the desert for 40 days to be tempted by the devil."  Matthew writes that "Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, and afterwards was hungry."  How are these two accounts similar and yet different from Mark's?

There is much to think about in the three different wordings, but one thing is certain: the time in the desert and the temptation by the devil were part of God's will for Jesus - it was the work of the Spirit that Jesus went to the desert, a harsh place with no comfort, a place containing evil, temptation, danger.  From his baptism in the Jordan to his agony in the garden and his death on the cross, the work of Jesus is something that is horrifically difficult and painful.  Yet his endurance and acceptance of his mission gives us LIFE:

After coming out of the desert, Jesus begins to proclaim the Kingdom of God, calling all to REPENT and BELIEVE in the Gospel.  These are the words that should ring in our ear's and hearts throughout Lent...REPENT, BELIEVE, BE BAPTIZED.

How will you respond to God's call this Lent, and for all your life? 

How is the Spirit purifying you this Lent for the sacraments you will celebrate at Easter?  Are you willing to be purified - and to accept a new path? 

This is our Lenten call - to face the harsh and evil reality in our lives, and allow ourselves to be purified so that we may set out on a new path:  how is this going for you?

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