Reflection on the 1st Sunday of Lent

By Fr Makama

The first reading this Sunday is a part of the Flood narrative (Gen. 9: 8-15) is the climax of a story of human waywardness in sin that begins in Genesis 3. Here the chaos which sin causes is evident in the disharmony it engenders between humans and other creatures (3:15), between male and female (3:16), and between humans and their earthly labours (3:17-18).

Disharmony intensifies in chapter four, in which the first murder, that of a brother no less, occurs. The genealogy of chapter five draws the link from Adam’s generation to Noah’s in order to highlight the downward spiral of humanity. Finally, 6:1-8 narrates the breaking of God’s harmonious world. In the coupling of heavenly and earthly beings, the boundary between the two realms is shattered. The entire cosmos is thus thrown into disorder, and humanity is so broken that God regrets having created it in the first place. The Flood appears to be the expression of this regret and the pivotal event of renewal and re-creation. which finds its expression in the Covenant which is the subject of today’s reading. The flood in this way prefigures baptism as mentioned in the second reading.

The theme of renewal and recreation is taken up in the call of Jesus to repent, and believe in the Gospel. Repentance can be seen as a re-birth, a recreation of the person, a turning away from a former way of life and embracing a new one with the intent to live the new one in conformity to the will of God. What makes this possible is the death of Christ who allowed himself to be taken as unrighteous so that through his suffering and death he might lead the unrighteous to righteousness as stated in the second reading.