* Bacaan Liturgi 18 Februari 2018.Hari Minggu Prapaskah I.
* VICTORY OVER EVIL IN CHRIST JESUS
Bacaan Liturgi 18 Februari 2018.
Hari Minggu Prapaskah I.
Perjanjian Allah dengan Nuh sesudah ia dibebaskan dari air bah.
Pembacaan dari Kitab Kejadian:
Sesudah air bah
berfirmanlah Allah kepada Nuh
dan kepada anak-anak Nuh yang bersama-sama dengan dia,
Aku mengadakan perjanjian dengan kamu dan dengan keturunanmu,
dan dengan segala makhluk hidup yang ada besertamu,
yakni burung-burung, ternak dan binatang-binatang liar di bumi,
segala yang keluar dari bahteramu, segala binatang di bumi.
Maka Kuadakan perjanjian-Ku dengan kamu,
bahwa sejak kini
segala yang hidup takkan dilenyapkan oleh air bah lagi
dan tidak akan ada lagi air bah untuk memusnahkan bumi."
Dan Allah berfirman,
"Inilah tanda perjanjian yang Kuadakan antara Aku dan kamu
serta segala makhluk hidup yang ada sertamu,
turun-temurun untuk selama-lamanya:
Busur-Ku akan Kutempatkan di awan
sebagai tanda perjanjian antara Aku dan bumi.
Apabila kemudian Kudatangkan awan di atas bumi
dan busur itu tampak di awan,
maka Aku akan mengingat perjanjian-Ku
yang telah Kuadakan dengan kamu
dan dengan segala makhluk yang hidup, segala yang bernyawa,
sehingga segenap air tidak lagi menjadi air bah
untuk memusnahkan segala yang hidup.
Demikianlah sabda Tuhan.
Segala jalan-Mu, ya Tuhan, adalah kasih setia dan kebenaran.
*Beritahukanlah jalan-jalan-Mu kepadaku, ya Tuhan,
tunjukkanlah lorong-lorong-Mu kepadaku.
Bawalah aku berjalan dalam kebenaran-Mu dan ajarlah aku,
sebab Engkaulah Allah yang menyelamatkan daku.
*Ingatlah segala rahmat dan kasih setia-Mu, ya Tuhan,
sebab semuanya itu sudah ada sejak purbakala.
Dosa-dosaku pada waktu muda
dan pelanggaran-pelanggaranku janganlah Kauingat.
*Tuhan itu baik dan benar;
sebab itu Ia menunjukkan jalan kepada orang yang sesat.
Ia membimbing orang-orang yang rendah hati menurut hukum,
dan Ia mengajarkan jalan-Nya kepada orang-orang yang bersahaja.
Air itu melambangkan pembaptisan yang kini menyelamatkan kamu.
Pembacaan dari Surat Pertama Rasul Petrus:
Kristus telah mati satu kali untuk segala dosa kita.
Ia yang benar telah mati untuk orang-orang yang tidak benar,
supaya Ia membawa kita kepada Allah;
Ia telah dibunuh dalam keadaan-Nya sebagai manusia,
tetapi dibangkitkan menurut Roh,
dan di dalam Roh itu juga
Ia pergi memberitakan Injil kepada roh-roh yang di dalam penjara,
yaitu roh-roh mereka
yang pada masa Nuh tidak taat kepada Allah,
ketika Allah tetap menanti dengan sabar
waktu Nuh sedang mempersiapkan bahteranya,
di mana hanya sedikit, yaitu delapan orang,
yang diselamatkan oleh air bah itu.
Air itu melambangkan pembaptisan
yang kini menyelamatkan kamu,
bukan dengan membersihkan kenajisan jasmani,
melainkan dengan memohonkan hati nurani yang baik kepada Allah
berkat kebangkitan Yesus Kristus,
yang telah naik ke surga dan kini duduk di sebelah kanan Allah,
setelah Ia menaklukkan segala malaikat, kuasa dan kekuatan kepadanya.
Demikianlah sabda Tuhan.
Bait Pengantar Injil
Manusia hidup bukan dari roti saja, tetapi dari setiap firman yang keluar dari mulut Allah.
Yesus dicobai oleh Iblis,
dan malaikat-malaikat melayani Dia.
Inilah Injil Yesus Kristus menurut Markus:
Roh memimpin Yesus ke padang gurun.
Di padang gurun itu Ia tinggal empat puluh hari lamanya,
dan dicobai oleh Iblis.
Yesus berada di sana di antara binatang-binatang liar,
dan malaikat-malaikat melayani Dia.
Sesudah Yohanes Pembaptis ditangkap,
datanglah Yesus ke Galilea memberitakan Injil Allah.
"Waktunya telah genap.
Kerajaan Allah sudah dekat.
Bertobatlah dan percayalah kepada Injil!"
Demikianlah sabda Tuhan.
18 Pebruari 2018
"Bertobatlah dan percayalah kepada Injil" (Mrk 1:15)
Kej 9:8-15; Mzm 25:4b-5ab, 6-7bc, 8-9; 1 Ptr 3:18-22; Mrk 1:12-15
Ketika masuk sekolah, terlihat Andre yang sangat terkenal dengan bandelnya ada tanda SALIB hitam di dahinya. Hal itu membuat semua orang tercengang termasuk para gurunya. Di sepanjang pengajaran, banyak orang membicarakannya.
Ketika jam istirahat, Thomas teman sebelahnya berkata:"Kapan kamu ikut misa Rabu Abu?"
Andre menjawab:"Tadi pagi. Dekat rumah misanya jam 5:30 am"
Thomas kembali berkata: "Teman-teman pada kaget. Karena minggu lalu kamu masih dipanggil Pater, tetapi tiba-tiba kamu orang PERTAMA yang telah mengikuti misa Rabu Abu".
Andre tersenyum dan berkata: "Sudah sejak SD sampai sekarang SMP 3, aku terkenal badung dan jahat. Mungkin Tuhan sangat MENGASIHIKU, sehingga setelah bertemu Pater minggu lalu, dia telah membuat saya MENGALAMI KASIH TUHAN. Dia telah membuat saya BERTOBAT. Semoga teman-teman memaafkan saya juga".
Mendengar itu Thomas cepat-cepat menjawab:"Oh itu bagus Thom. Saya juga ikut senang. Memang saat yang paling tepat untuk BERTOBAT adalah sekarang".
Saat yang paling tepat untuk BERTOBAT adalah SEKARANG.
Ya Allah, kasihanilah aku orang berdosa ini. Amin
Marilah kita bertobat dan hidup menurut apa yang diperintahkan Allah.
Have a Blessed 1st Sunday of Lent
Third Sunday of St Joseph; First Sunday of Lent.
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel."
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness. That doesn't mean that Jesus was 'forced'. The Holy Spirit 'drives' us in the right direction, always counting on our freedom. The Holy Spirit is like a Satellite Navigation System giving directions to reach our destination. It doesn't 'drive' the car for you. That's the way the 'promptings' of the Holy Spirit work. Instead of clashing with our will, they strengthen it - reinforcing our freedom.
Did Jesus choose to be tempted by Satan in the desert? In a way, we could say that the Holy Spirit suggested the idea and Jesus liked it and implemented it. His freedom was necessary. And the same applies to us: our freedom is a very expensive gift (it cost Jesus all His Blood) and we have no right to neglect its use. Without freedom nothing that we do has any value. Indeed, even love is impossible if it is not free. We can only love God because we want to.
A mother was having problems during the pregnancy of her eighth child. Every day the whole family would pray and offer sacrifices for mum and the baby. The eldest boy was in charge of bathing his younger siblings and put them in bed. Each night mum was surprised to hear the laughter and shouting in the bathroom. One day, on kissing her three-year-old son before he went to bed, she noticed he was freezing and asked what was going on. He explained that, each night, like soldiers in formation, they all stood up in the bathtub; then the eldest brother shouted: "Shower WITH or WITHOUT sacrifice?" They all replied in unison: "With sacrifice!" And then he proceeded to drench them all with cold water. Mum ended the ritual that very day. This is certainly not the way the Holy Spirit 'drives' us to offer up sacrifices. He has more respect for our freedom.
Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, help me to be generous to respond to the promptings of the Paraclete.
18 FEBRUARY, 2018, 1st Week of Lent.
VICTORY OVER EVIL IN CHRIST JESUS
SCRIPTURE READINGS: [Genesis 9:8-15; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:12-15 ]
Overcoming temptation is always a struggle for us all. It is not that we are wicked people by nature. Rather, we are all self-preservative. We do what we can to protect our interests. We are afraid of death, suffering and rejection. That is why we grab, we hoard, we steal and we kill. If not for the fear of suffering, death and rejection, we can be very generous and caring people. Many who have sufficient in life and feel that they have more than enough would sacrifice their lives to do good, to help the poor and the Church. As it is said, charity begins at home, but it does not end there.
Still, there are many other temptations that we cannot resist, not just money and wealth. We cannot resist the sin of lust and the things of the flesh, food and beauty, because we are human beings with a spirit and a body. So we give in to the sin of flesh easily because our body desires sensual and physical pleasure. We are desperate for acceptance and recognition and so the sin of vanity and pride make us do things to gain praise. Our ego will not let us rest, but make us fight to be seen as right and great.
The truth is that such temptations continue to remain with us even after baptism because whilst our sins are washed away and forgiven at baptism, the effects of original sin, namely concupiscence, stays with us. This refers to the weakness of our disoriented will. Although we are not depraved, our human nature is weakened and therefore the resistance to temptation is much weaker in us human beings. Indeed, we read that immediately after the Covenant was made with Noah, upon leaving the Ark, Noah and his sons planted the vineyard. Noah "drank some of the wine and became drunk, and he lay uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside." (Gn 9:21f) Instead of behaving himself, Noah showed a bad example to his sons.
Overcoming temptation due to human weakness is made even more complex because the Devil, who is the Tempter, seeks to destroy us by manipulating our human weakness. Knowing how weak we are to the flesh and the world, he tempts us with lust, food, glory and power. Right from the outset of Jesus' ministry, the devil sought to make Jesus fall through the threefold temptation of identity, pleasure and power. We read in the gospel that "the Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan." We also read that "He was with the wild beasts." What are these wild beasts if not the devil who sought to tempt Him? But for us, the wild beasts also refer to the brute nature in us seeking for pleasure, glory and power.
In the face of our temptations, the Lord promised to deliver us from our sins and win victory over the Evil One. This is the covenant that God made with Noah. "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." In other words, God does not seek to destroy us but to redeem us. With the coming of Jesus, we are told that upon His death, "in the spirit he was raised to life, and, in the spirit, he went to preach to the spirits in prison." This could mean that Jesus, upon His death, went to save those that came before Christ and were waiting in Sheol. It could also mean, as some scholars suggest, that Jesus went down to hell to proclaim to the devils that He was victorious and hence, everything was under His dominion.
St Peter said, He "has entered heaven and is at God's right hand, now that he has made the angels and Dominations and Powers his subjects."
How can we do it? In Christ, we can overcome all evil. Jesus showed us the Way, walked the Way and taught us the way.
How did He do it? Firstly, He, as the Son of God, assumed our humanity. He was truly a man in every way except sin. "For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning." (Heb 4:15) Indeed, Jesus, more than anyone else, can feel with us. He knows what it is to be tempted as a man. "For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted." (Heb 2:18) He can surely sympathize with us in our weakness more than our fellowmen who are judgmental.
Secondly, not only is He able to feel with us in our weakness in the face of temptations, He shows us the way. The psalmist says, "The Lord is good and upright. He shows the path to those who stray, He guides the humble in the right path, He teaches his way to the poor."
How does He show us the way?
First, by living out His sonship in obedience to His Father. "Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him." (Heb 5:8f) He walked the way of truth and of love.
He shows us the way by helping us to use the Word of God to protect ourselves. "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim 3:16f) To the Devil who tempted Him to change stones to bread, He cited from the scriptures, "Man shall not live by bread alone." To the temptation to worship Satan, Jesus cited the scriptures, "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve." And when asked to test the fidelity of His Father, He said that it is written, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God."
Thirdly, to conquer sin and temptation, Jesus invites us to die to ourselves.
St Peter wrote, "Christ himself, innocent though he was, died once for sins, died for the guilty, to lead us to God. In the body he was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life." Dying to self is the only way in which we can rise to new life. This is what baptism is all about. It is more than just a washing of the physical dirt, as St Peter said, "but a pledge made to God from a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." St Paul in his letter to the Romans said, "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." (Rom 6:3-4; cf Rom 6:6-8)
Fourthly, we are called to overcome the fear of death, which is the cause of all sins. All sins spring from the fear of death. "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law." Hence, all sins lead to death. "But then what return did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. For the wages of sin is death." (Rom 6:21, 23) By His death, He destroyed death forever because He died so that He could rise from the dead to show us that death need not be feared, for it is not the last word, but eternal life with God. "Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage." (Heb 2:14f)
Finally, to overcome the fear of death and punishment because of our inclination to sin, we must cling to Jesus' unconditional love and mercy for us. This is what the Good News is. When Jesus said, "The time has come and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News", He was saying that the forgiveness of God is here. We have already been forgiven and we are all reconciled with the Father even before we make amends for our sins. We are loved always by the Father no matter what we do. (cf Rom 7:24f)
Realizing His love for us, we respond in love, not out of fear. We must stop sinning, not because of the fear of punishment that comes from breaking the laws, but because it is a betrayal of love. The psalmist says, "Remember your mercy, Lord, and the love you have shown from of old. In your love remember me, because of your goodness, O Lord."
St Paul precisely responded in that manner. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose." (Gal 2:20) St Peter also exhorted the newly baptized, "Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall." (2 Pt 1:10)
The First Sunday of Lent is to lead us through the whole journey of Lent to repent and reclaim our sonship and daughtership in Christ. It calls for a renewal of our baptismal promises, foreshadowed in the story of Noah's Ark and given to us at our baptism as St Peter wrote. We must now live out the Covenant that has been given to us in Christ, as sons and daughters of God by staying away from sin and living the New life in Christ Jesus.
Written by The Most Rev William Goh, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore © All Rights Reserved