First Sunday of Lent

The themes of “covenant” and “the kingdom of God”   brought to mind a quote I read recently that pertains well to today’s readings. We are situated in a web of life. The same currents that run through our human blood also run through the swirling galaxies and the myriad of life-forms that pervade this planet: one and the same evolutionary current moves through all – a single self-transcending current of all-pervading energy that brings new life out of seeming catastrophe. Ilia Delio, OSF

creationNoah, his family and the pairs of animals/creatures that he took with him on the ark certainly experienced a catastrophe but were saved and given new life by God as they responded to God’s very specific instructions. God makes a covenant, not just with Noah but every living creature with you. I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings….. Noah and his family were not the only ones saved. God in God’s awesome wisdom and love of creation, told Noah to include “every kind of wild beast, every kind of domestic animal, every kind of creeping thing of the earth, and every kind of bird.” Genesis 7:14. This is the God of creation who calls us forth to care for all of creation. This is a God of inclusivity and love of all God made.

A book that I read years ago by Monika Hellwig called Guests of God was a transforming one for me. The subtitle was Stewards of Divine Creation. Just the concept of being a “guest” on this planet Earth – a steward of Divine Creation where I/we walk, breathe, receive its gifts touched me. I felt/feel invited to walk gently/tenderly in this world of creation knowing that I/we have just a certain period of time given us to appreciate and savor its’ gifts. Guests tend to be gentle, caring and appreciative of what is not theirs but is offered to them for a given time. That’s us! Planet Earth with all its creatures, plants, trees, water, etc are not ours but gifts given to us for a time.

I can only imagine that Jesus after having been in the desert for 40 days, would have gratefully cherished all the gifts of creation that he had been deprived of during his desert time. He surely must have looked at all God had made and echoed the prayer of the Creator “it is very good”. Though tempted during those 40 days, Jesus refused to exploit God’s good gifts, or to use them only for his advantage.

What kind of guest of God am I? It might be a question for each of us as we journey through this Lent. The kingdom of God is at hand! How might we live it, cherish it and share it with all creation?

gift of creation 2Sister Patricia (Tricia) Kirk, OSB

Emmanuel Monastery

Lutherville, MD

Author: 3osb

We are Sisters and Oblates of three Benedictine Monasteries who work together on communicating the Benedictine charism: Emmanuel Monastery, Lutherville, MD St. Gertrude Monastery, Ridgely, MD St. Benedict Monastery, Bristow, VA

4 thoughts on “First Sunday of Lent”

  1. I love the concept of guests of God, and the reminder that we need to be gentle, and appreciative of what is not ours, but for a given time…to reverence all truly. Lamb Center, here in Va., welcomes the homeless during the day and calls those who come, Guests. I love this way of dignifying each person.

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  2. Thank you so much for both reflections! I loved the connection to being “gifts” of the Earth and the need for reverence. I also can relate to the “pig pen” phase of life! Blessings!
    Roberta Campbell, OSB

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  3. As I read Sr. Tricia’s reflection, her question: What kind of guest of God am I? made me ponder the essence of life itself and the meaning and purpose of our very short journey on this earth as God’s guests. This reflection brought to mind the message of the DESIDERATA.

    D E S I D E R A T A
    Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe; no less than the trees and the stars, you have the right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labours and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
    -Attributed to Max Ehrmann 1927

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