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First Sunday of Lent – Cycle B

17 February 2018

Reflecting on Mark 1: 12-15

So, we had a baptism during Mass last Sunday. Baby boy twins Thomas and Owen shared the historic baptismal gown that has been used in their dad’s family since it was hand-sewn in 1882. Think about that. The Civil War was less than twenty years in the past. The owning of human beings had only been legally eradicated since 1865.

The tragic “re-settlement” of the native peoples in the west would not be complete until 1892. Two world wars would bracket a Great Depression. Periods of great prosperity followed the second war and have continued, for many, into our own time.

Cultural convulsions erupted and changed the world, creating entirely different boundaries, economic systems, new enemies, and leading to many wars around the world, which also continue in our time.

The world of 1882 is nearly unrecognizable to us today. Well, that’s not quite true. We’d recognize a baptismal gown anywhere. Thomas and Owen are the 108th and 109th babies in their family to be baptized in that gown, made so lovingly 134 years ago.

Go back and find those old scrapbooks in the attic. I’ll bet you’ll find glimmers of the long-ago faith of your forebears, passed on to you, one baptism at a time. And today we hear readings for the First Sunday of Lent which have been treasured and proclaimed by the Church since the fourth century.

Think about THAT. Think about all the changes in ritual just in our lifetimes. Reflect on the millions of believers who have come to Mass on this day and heard Jesus debate the Great Liar. In every age, the message has not changed.

Repent and believe in the Gospel.

Wouldn’t this Lent be a great time to finally frame your baptismal certificate?

Kathy McGovern ©2018

Lent - Cycle B

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