A few days ago the church commenced the season of Lent for this liturgical year. A season that prepares us for the death and resurrection of Christ; through practicing penance, mortification, prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It is a period in which the grace of God abounds. An opportunity for us to bring forth renewal in our life and also live a life that is worthy of the name Christian. The church presents us the opportunity during this 40 days of Lent to reconcile with God, our neighbors and ourselves. It is a call for us to retrace our steps and go back to God in humility; begging for his forgiveness and mercy. This is the character of the season of Lent. It’s a period of great sacrifice from all Christians, for the good of others; just like Jesus did in today’s 2nd reading by accepting to come and redeem humanity from the sin of our first parents.

The readings presented to us on this 1st Sunday of Lent, presents us with the opportunity to reflect on some important issues, such as; sin, disobedience and temptation. The 1st reading from the book of Genesis, presents us with the account of the creation of man and woman and also their fall through disobedience. God gave them a good life in the Garden of Eden until they disobeyed God and their lives never remained the same. The period they remained obedient to God, everything went on well with them. Their action brought about sin and disobedience, and this break the bond of love that existed between them and God; and their story changed completely. In the same way, we break the bond of love that exists between us and God when we sin and disobey God. The season of Lent is an opportunity for the children of God to mend our broken relationship with God that we have caused because of our disobedience. It is an invitation for us to right the wrongs in our life and be reunited with God.

Interestingly, because of God’s love for his children, he decided to give us another chance of righting our wrongs by sending his son Jesus Christ to change the narrative of our life. This is what St. Paul presents to us in the 2nd reading of this Sunday. God sent his obedient son Jesus Christ to come and bring liberation and salvation to us his children. The first Adam led us to sin through his disobedience and the second Adam who is Jesus Christ, brought us salvation through his obedience to God his Father. The coming of Jesus, remedied the bad situation that was created by our first parents. This is an invitation for us to live an obedient life to God as Jesus Christ did. Obedience to God attracts the blessings of God, while disobedience to God can separate us from the love of God; just like in the case of Adam and Eve from the first reading of today. Sin breaks our relationship with God and acts as a barrier between us and God. Let us resolve to stay away from sin in which ever disguise it is presented to us. Be strengthened by the fact that wherever there is sin, the grace of God abounds.

In the gospel reading, we see that Jesus was tempted three times by the devil and he conquered three times. He did not fall, unlike in the case of our first parents who fell. My brothers and sisters in Christ, this goes to show us that temptations will always be encountered in our daily life, but we have to stand firm with God in obedience; just like Jesus did. In our daily life we encounter different temptations, and the season of Lent challenges us to be steadfast and conquer them. This is made possible through our practice of self-denial, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, sacrifices and the fear of God. It is my prayer that God will grant us the graces we need to be obedient to God at all times. Peace be with you. Amen.

Homily for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year A, by Fr. Jude Ifezime, C.S.Sp