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Don't Panic

Reform your lives and believe in the Gospel
Mark 1:12-15

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Sermon Week First Sunday of Lent Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 1:15


A married couple had lived together for twenty-five years in what outwardly seemed like a reasonably good union. The husband was a good provider. The wife was a good housekeeper. They went to Church together every Sunday and prayed together every night before they retired. But they did have one problem that seemed insurmountable. They could not have a conversation that didn't end up in an argument. Finally, the wife decided she'd had enough, but because of her religious scruples, divorce was out of the question. She had a better idea, however. One night as the couple settled down for their nightly prayers, she said to her husband, "We must put an end to this terrible situation we're in. We can't go on like this anymore. Since today is the first day of Lent, why don't we pray that things will change. Let's pray that the Lord will call one of us home to Him. Then I can go live with my sister."

Although one would suspect that the wife's proposal fell short of the true Lenten spirit, nevertheless Lent is the season in which the call to reform and change is emphasized. Lent is the season for serious reflection on the direction in which your life is headed. You hear God calling you from one direction, the devil from another. The question is, "Which way do you go?" The decision is yours!

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus, having been called by the Father from one direction through the ritual of His baptism, is now being called by Satan from another direction through the ritual of prayer and fasting.

Jesus has been out in the desert alone, for forty days. His lengthy fast has made Him weak and vulnerable. He is hungry. Visions of instant gratification are beginning to haunt Him. "Why not change these small desert stones into chunks of bread? I can do it, and it will satisfy My hunger immediately!"

The lengthy period of solitude has made Him lonely. "Why not do something sensational that will attract attention? Why not jump from the top of this high [...]

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