Celebrating The First Sunday of Lent

Homily given by Fr. Jim Lowe CC

at St. Scholastica 10am Mass Sunday March 1, 2020

“The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.” (Gen 2:7)

God gave Adam life by breathing into his nostrils the breath of life. God also gave us life by bringing us into being in our mothers wombs. He knew His plan for us before we were even conceived. God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

God has a plan for every person in the world before we are even conceived. Like Jeremiah, He created us to be in a relationship with Him; to love Him; to tell everyone how much He loves them. If this is true, then why are there so many people in the world who do not believe that there is a God who loves them? Why are there so many people who do know that God loves them, but they don’t want to tell anyone about this amazing love?

The simple answer is Sin. Adam and Eve sinned against God. We all sin against God. He loves us and wants to bless us, but we often reject His gift of love and mercy to pursue our own plans and to chase our own desires. This is what prevents us from recognizing our dignity as children of God. We want to be our own gods. We want to be in control of our own lives. God gave us a solution to this problem. Jesus! Jesus came into this world to save us from sin and death. This is the good news of the Gospel.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16)

This is the Basic Gospel Message. This is what Archbishop Vigneron is challenging us to embrace ourselves and to proclaim to others. There is an urgency to tell this Good News to everyone we encounter. We are being prepared as an archdiocese and a parish to Unleash the Gospel and, like Jeremiah and all the prophets, to respond to our Baptismal call to be Sent Out on Mission. Like Jeremiah, we do not have to do this through our own wisdom or by our own human eloquence. God still breathes on us His divine life through the Holy Spirit! He gives us the gifts we need to proclaim the Gospel to all who are willing to listen.

Friends, as we prepare to Unleash the Gospel and be Sent on Mission as Joyful Missionary Disciples, let us not forget to turn to God who is the author of life. Let us respond to the call to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving so that we can grow closer to God and to one another. Let us surrender to Him all of our plans and listen to Him who knows His plans for us before we are even conceived in our mother’s womb. Be assured of my prayers for you.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Jim Lowe, CC