During Lent we hear from Cycle B (2nd year of the 3 year cycle) of the Lectionary readings for Mass. On the 1st Sunday of Lent in all 3 cycles, the Gospel tells of the temptation of Jesus. The 1st two readings are related to the theme of Baptism in Cycle B. One of the key aspects of Lent is the preparation of the catechumens (the unbaptized) for the Initiation Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and 1st Eucharist.
For those who are already baptized, Lent is to provide a re-awakening of our baptismal commitment by living the baptismal grace we have received. Pace yourself throughout Lent by reading these passages before you come to Mass on Sunday. Allow the Holy Spirit to fix in your mind and heart the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
On the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent, at the 11:30 am and 3:30 pm Masses, we celebrate the Scrutiny Rites for the Catechumens and will instead use the Cycle A readings at those Masses (the Samaritan woman at the well; the man born blind; the raising of Lazarus).
1 Lent: The temptation of Jesus; Baptism
- Genesis 9:8-15 – God’s covenant with Noah after the flood
- 1 Peter 3:18-22 – The water of the flood prefigured baptism, which saves you now.
- Mark 1:12-15 – The Temptation of Jesus (always on the 1st Sunday of Lent)
2 Lent: The Transfiguration; Abraham
- Genesis 22 – The sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith.
- Romans 8:31-34 – God did not spare his own Son.
- Mark 9:2-10 – The Transfiguration of Jesus (always on the 2nd Sunday of Lent)
3 Lent: Neither signs nor wisdom can bring us to faith, but only the love of God, manifest in the death and resurrection of Jesus
- Exodus 20 – The giving of the 10 Commandments
- 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 – The wisdom and folly of the Cross
- John 2:13-25 – The cleansing of the Temple
4 Lent: Conversion; God is rich in mercy
- 2 Chronicles 36 – The wrath and the mercy of the Lord are revealed in the exile and liberation of his people. • Dissolution of Judah. • Decree of Cyrus
- Ephesians 2:4-10 – Generosity of God’s Plan: Though dead in your transgressions, by grace you have been saved.
- John 3:14-21 – Nicodemus. • The lifting up of the Son to save the world
5 Lent: The fruit of our Lord’s passion and resurrection is a genuine interior change in those who accept it.
- Jeremiah 31:31-34 – I will make a new covenant and remember their sin no more.
- Hebrews 5:7-9 – Christ learned obedience and became the source of eternal salvation.
- John 12:20-33 – If a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it produces much fruit.
Themes are taken from the Lectionary for Mass and are also found in the book, The Fire in the Cloud: Lenten Meditations, by Francis Martin.