HOMILY: FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT 2021
Everybody wants to look beautiful and handsome. Isn’t it? While some would like to achieve it through cosmetic surgery but others try beauty care products by applying regularly on their skin until eventually one will be transformed into a desired look. However, there is another theory that says to be beautiful outside you have to be healthy inside. Eat nutritious food; avoid eating processed food, push for workout, early to bed and early to rise surely makes one healthy, wealthy and wise.
The theme for this 1st Sunday of Lent is spiritual beauty through conversion of the heart. First of all, it is a gift from God. The Book of Genesis tells us about the covenant made by God to the children of Noah. He promised that the deluge due to their severe transgression will never be repeated once again. In this covenant, He swore that people will never be slaughtered once again which is in anticipation the paschal mystery of Jesus. The flood of waters will no longer destroy flesh but apparently it will soon be water that will be the source of life and earthly beauty. It is a gift that God is preparing to give us during Easter season.
It is achieved through cleansing us of sin and guilt. The second reading which is taken from the first Epistle of Peter made mention about the most important effect of Baptism which is not a removal of dirt in our body but an appeal to God for good conscience. Clean conscience is clear conscience. It makes us admit we have done something wrong, truly wrong which requires admission of sin and guilt. Never presume that you did not hurt anyone or have not offended anyone therefore, don’t feel like repenting. The grace of Baptism is cleansing by convicting me. I am the man and I am a sinner. Admission of our commissions, omissions, shortcomings, excesses, lack of charity, greed, and laziness to pray, paves the way to conversion. Clear conscience will lead our spirit to the sacrament of reconciliation because it is right there that God will constantly purify and dispenses the graces so that our spiritual life will once again grow and glow.
It is constantly nourished through listening to God. Jesus, according to Mark, proclaimed the good news and the message of repentance. The new life and spiritual beauty that we have received through the waters of baptism must be sustained by feeding us with the word of God. We have to digest the word of God so that our soul will continue to grow, go and glow.