First Sunday of Lent
14 Feb 2024

Reading I: Gn 9:8-15
Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9.
Reading II: 1 Pt 3:18-22
Gospel: Mk 1:12-15



There is a song that is sung by CeCe Winans, titled, The Goodness of God. In the video as she is singing you see clips of her life from childhood to present as she sings, “All my life you have been faithful. All my life you have been so, so good.” The first time I heard this song I was in tears, because it inspired me to remember the goodness of God in my life. Lent is a time to remember how good God is. The readings today help us to remember how we are saved through waters of baptism, the sacrifice of Jesus for us on the cross and the overall goodness of God through God’s covenantal promises.

In the first reading God has established a covenant with Noah and all humankind. It is a covenant that is intergenerational. In the covenant, God promised never again to destroy any living creatures by the waters of a flood. A visible sign of the covenant, God would put a bow (rainbow) in the sky as a reminder of God’s promises. This covenant is not contingent on our obedience. It is only God’s actions that are restricted by the terms of the covenant. Furthermore, water has been transformed from a destructive force into being a redemptive symbol through the sacrament of baptism. The goodness of God is demonstrated by God’s divine power to extend mercy to us sinners in need of forgiveness.

The Gospel today, occurs after Jesus was baptized by John and reminds us of Jesus’ time in the wilderness where we encounter both the divine and human sides of Jesus. He had to endure Satan’s temptations for us to be able to identify with him as being human. He did not succumb to the temptations because he was fully committed to his mission that renews our covenant with God. We see the goodness of God through God’s ministering angels reminding Jesus and us that God will not abandon us in our time of need if we keep our focus on God. Because of God’s promise to never leave us nor forsake us, we can share with others about the Goodness of God in our life.

This Gospel is good news but how do we interpret this amid a world where there are wars, racism, violence and so much chaos?  How can we see the goodness of God with all that is going on? We must look at situations through the lens of faith. Growing in faith is a lifelong continual process. That is why we take this time during Lent to go deep within ourselves to discover and/or rediscover our baptismal mission. Many people make the decision to give up something during this time, just to go back to it when the forty days are finished. While the practice of fasting is admirable, I would like to suggest that we seek ways to deepen our faith through aligning our ministry and mission with Christ. Through baptism we have received a Spirit which comes from God therefore giving us the mind of Christ. But life can make us think that our mind and Jesus’ mind are opposites. Lent is that time to reconnect with the Spirit that is within us to bring back to our remembrance that goodness is part of God’s nature. God will always act in a way that is true, noble, right, and good. During Lent we rediscover the ways in which God has continually shown us God’s love, grace, mercy, generosity, favor, even when we didn’t deserve it.

Can you imagine the reactions of those 8 people upon leaving the ARK, as they were saved through water by God? If it were me, I would have been shouting about the goodness of God. When we remember that we were saved through baptism, God sacrificed God’s only son for our salvation, and Jesus did not turn away from his assignment, then we are reinvigorated to renew our baptismal commitment to share the love that God has shown us to others and thus building God’s Kingdom here on earth.



Kimberly Lymore, DMin

Director, Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program