1st Sunday of Lent - Part 1

1st Sunday of Lent - Part 1

Sunday was a day filled with activity. My husband and I have this rather consuming hobby called geocaching where we use hand held GPS devices to search out “caches” (hidden things) and once found, we record our names (The Irish Duo) in the cache log, then record our find on-line at geocaching.com. We began Sunday traveling the back roads, gathering caches and ended the day with some unique finds in some sea caves off one of the frozen lakes in Cannon Falls, MN. We left home at 9am, and finally arrive back around 730pm! My intention was to go to Mass at 5pm and complete my blog post in the evening but while we were standing on the ice, looking at these amazing sea caves, I realized I would not be able to make it back for Mass. I had a choice: I could make life rather rushed and try to race back but instead, I looked around and gave thanks for the amazing beauty surrounding me—and for the opportunity to spend the day with my husband. I went to bed exhausted, (geocaching bonus—lots of walking and exercise!) thinking I would blog on Monday about the Monday readings after all, Sunday is a day of rest.

Well, I woke up wide-awake at 3am, with a series of verses floating through my head. I tried for an hour to return to sleep but finally gave up (gave in?) and got out the iPad to see what they were about. (Nice thing about the iPad, I can read and not disturb sleeping husband!)

Psalm 42, Mark 9, 1 John 2, 1 Corinthians 4 and Colossians 3.

Here is what spoke to me from these verses.

  • Psalm 42: As a deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you O God. My being thirsts for God, the living God.
  • Mark 9: (This chapter is loaded with stuff, including the transfiguration of Jesus, two different exorcisms and temptations of sin.) Here are a couple of the verses that resonate with me: This is my beloved Son. Listen to him… Everything is possible to one who has faith. Then the boys’ father cried out, ‘I do believe, help my unbelief.’ The section on the temptations of sin: hand sins, cut it off—maimed; foot sins, cut it off—crippled and eye sins, pluck it out—blind.
  • 1 John 2: For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes and a pretentious life is not from the Father but is from the world. Remain in him.
  • 1 Corinthians 4: Thus one should regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
  • Colossians 3: Seek what is above. Think of what is above not what is on earth. Put to death the parts of you that are earthly, immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and the greed that is idolatry. By these you too once conducted yourselves when you lived in that way. Put on then as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another…put on love. Let the peace of Christ control your hearts. Be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.

Okay – those are pretty heavy verses! I went to bed thinking about the readings from the 1st Sunday of Lent, specifically about the gospel of Matthew 4: 1-11, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. The temptations intrigue me…

Richard Rohr had an interesting commentary on this reading: “I see the three temptations as the primal and universal temptations that all humans must face before they dare take on any kind of power—as Jesus is about to do. They are all temptations to the misuse of power for purposes less than God’s purpose. They are sequentially the misuse of practical everyday power, the misuse of religious power and the misuse of political power. These are the constant tragedies that keep defeating humanity.” (Wondrous Encounters: 1st Sunday of Lent).

THEN I read a blog post on TheSacredpage.com, that also refers to 1 John 2 (which was one of my verses at 3am) and he (John Bergsma) writes, “The classic scriptural formulation of the nature of temptations if found in 1 John 2:15-16: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. In the Christian tradition, this threefold love of the world—Lust of the Flesh, Lust of the Eyes, and Pride of Life—is known as the threefold concupiscence, and lines up roughly with the sins of (physical) lust, avarice (greed), and pride.”

As I return to my 3 am unsolicited verses, I would say that the Spirit is wanting me to reflect a bit on these verses. I think I need to reflect a bit more on all of this, will label this post Part 1, and see what comes up for me today as I head to the hospital for my chaplain volunteer time.

I wonder if there will be a Part 2 post? Today, these verses feel a bit overwhelming!

Blissfully, Susan

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Kenna Rose wrote:
Very interesting :)

Mon, March 14, 2011 @ 11:45

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def. Bliss: -noun Supreme Happiness, Utter Joy/Contentment; the Joy of Paradise!