Pray in a new and creative way this Lent by joining the women of WINE: Women In the New Evangelization on a journey through Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. What if you could have been a witness to the events of the last days of Jesus’ life—walking with him as he entered Jerusalem, observing his crucifixion, and embracing him on Easter?
Walk in Her Sandals, edited by popular Catholic author and speaker Kelly M. Wahlquist, takes you deeper into your relationship with Jesus by helping you relate to him in a profoundly intimate way. Looking at six universal gifts of women through the eyes of women in the gospels, the book guides you on a prayerful and creative journey through the days of Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost.
As you imagine the experience of the women who met Jesus, you will discover how each of them expressed one of six, distinctive, feminine gifts identified in the writings of St. John Paul II. Through the eyes of an imagined woman who watched Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, you will understand how she conveyed the gift of receptivity. Through the hands of Veronica, who reached out to wipe the face of Jesus, you will discover how sensitivity is present and can grow in your own life. These gifts, along with generosity, prayer, maternity, and the Holy Spirit, come to life through the vivid portrayal of women who walked with Jesus. Their imagined stories are complemented by the real accounts of contemporary women who share their own stories of receiving and cultivating these gifts.
Walk in Her Sandals is a collaborative effort, edited by Wahlquist with contributions from ten leading Catholic women writers, all of whom are associated with the organization she founded—WINE: Women In the New Evangelization. The contributors will help you break open the scripture, reflect upon it and apply it to your own life, and share those insights in a small-group setting through the use of questions and challenges.
Study beginning February 19. Stay tuned.
Lent to Remember on FORMED.org
This Lent gather a group of friends to study and share faith together. Or participate in a private retreat.
A Lent to Remember is a four-week, video-based study that uses Augustine Institute original productions Forgiven and Symbolon to present the power of God’s love and mercy in his Paschal Mystery and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
This study is broken down into four weeks, each using a different episode from Forgiven or Symbolon, plus an optional episode for Children from Forgiven to be used with children, if possible. These episodes are packaged together in one study, available in English and Spanish, called A Lent to Remember.
Week One: Forgiven: Where Are You?
Week Two: Forgiven: An Encounter with Mercy
Week Three: Forgiven: Embraced in Mercy: The Rite Explained
Week Four: Symbolon: The Paschal Mystery
Bonus Episode: For Children: How to Make a Good Confession
Using the parish code Y6MP2H, sign in at formed,org
and get started. Other programs such as Forgiven and Wild Goose are also available for reflection. Either as individuals or a group.
Let the Scriptures Speak
The First Sunday of Lent
February 18, 2018
Dennis Hamm, SJ
Reading I: Genesis 9:8-15
Responsorial Psalm: 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Reading II: 1 Peter 3:18-22
Gospel: Mark 1:12-15
The covenant between me … and every living creature.
Through Water and Desert to LifeMaybe the best way of entering the spirit of these readings is to hear them through the ears of adult converts preparing for baptism. That is the original purpose of Lent—preparation for baptism during the Easter Vigil service. The first two readings, with their talk of rescue through water and the engagement of covenant, strike the baptism theme boldly. And the Gospel scene of Jesus being prepared for his mission through forty days of testing in the desert, living among the beasts and ministered to by divine messengers, suggests the challenging and blessed process of the catechumen moving toward a new kind of life. Though catechumens among us are few, the readings that illuminate what they are doing speak directly to the rest of us in the worshiping community. Lent calls us all to renew and to enter more deeply into the meaning of our own baptism.
The covenant relationship is built into the bond between Creator and creatures by virtue of their coming into existence in the first place.
If the Christmas season reawakened us to the good news of the incarnation, Lent now draws us more fully into the consequences of the incarnation as they were worked out through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus—a mystery we entered through our own ritual of initiation into the body of Christ. Since that passage through the waters, our whole lives have been quite literally a living out of that baptism.
Our particular moment in history warrants a closer look at the First Reading, the “rainbow covenant” after the flood. In some ways, the traditions about Noah exemplify what makes many adult Christians uneasy about their biblical heritage. They find the image of God here—punishing everyone, even the innocent animals—all too human. They have heard about parallels to the flood story in other literature of the ancient Near East and wonder what these “borrowings” really have to do with living Christian faith today And yet, properly understood, the story of the Noah family, the flood, and the rainbow covenant may be peculiarly pertinent precisely to us members of the North Atlantic community as we recede from the twentieth century in an environment deeply threatened by human abuse.
The inspired writers of Genesis knew exactly what they were doing when they elaborated on the traditions of their neighbors and spent a generous stretch of their parchment on “the flood story.” As they put together the traditions of Israel, they chose to introduce the ancestral traditions (the stories about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) with a brief summary of what we have come to call the primeval history. Before the story of Israel comes the story of everybody (Genesis 1-11). The lion's share of the primeval history is devoted to Noah and sons. If the story of Israel (beginning at Gen 12) is the story of a divine love affair with a chosen people, then the primeval history is the story of the even larger, prior picture of divine creation, human (and divine) “de-creation,” and divine re-creation. The sacred authors exemplify human de-creation in five examples of human rebellion—the disobedience of Adam and Eve, Cain’s murder of Abel, the widespread arrogance and violence of the generation preceding the flood, Ham’s disrespect of his father Noah, and the technological arrogance of the tower builders of Babel.
The whole story of everybody is bound together with talk of covenant, which flowers in today's First Reading. Even as God instructs Noah to build the ark, he says, “But with you I will establish [or confirm] my covenant” (Gen 6:18). That is the first time covenant (berith) is mentioned in the Torah, and the word used to describe what God plans to do with it can be translated (more naturally, some would claim) “confirm.” On this reading, the covenant that God confirms in chapter 9 is the one already established in the original creation itself—that is, the covenant relationship built into the bond between Creator and creatures by virtue of their coming into existence in the first place.
Indeed, the rainbow covenant confirmed (or established) in Genesis 9 does embrace all creation, “every living creature,” even “the earth.”
By the covenant with Abram in Genesis 12 God makes a fresh start in implementing the covenant of creation, since “all the communities of the earth shall find blessing” in Abram. Indeed, as Isaiah will put it, Israel is meant to be a “light to the nations” (Is 49:6). The Church, then, claims that vocation to have been fulfilled in Jesus and in the mission of the Jesus people. Consequence: the mission of baptized Christians is nothing less than to implement the covenant of creation. Thus our baptism grounds our Church's call to attend to ecological justice.
Return to S.P.I.R.I.T