Fr Mike uses the classic myths involving the Sirens to explain some ways to avoid temptation. He points out the differences between the ways Ulysses, his crew, and Jason of the Argonauts dealt with the monsters and suggests we use some advice St Paul gave to the Philippians when dealing with temptations.
The waters shall never again become a flood. (Genesis 9:15)
Doesn’t it seem odd to begin Lent with the story of Noah’s ark? Could it be because Noah spent forty days riding out a huge flood and Jesus endured forty days “among wild beasts” (Mark 1:13)?
Well, that’s part of the reason. But beyond that, there is a promise hidden in God’s covenant with Noah. By vowing never again to destroy the earth in a flood, he pointed toward a better way to overcome sin and evil: Jesus’ death and resurrection. And Lent gives us forty days to prepare for it!
In today’s second reading, St. Peter tells us why Noah and his family are perfect Lenten companions for us. Through the flood, they escaped a sinful environment and entered a new life with God—just as we escape sin and enter new life through the floodwaters of Baptism.
If you’re preparing for Baptism this Lent, you have a special reason to rejoice. You will be passing through waters into salvation firsthand. But if you are already baptized, you can rejoice too, especially if you spend these forty days renewing your baptismal promises. Renounce the devil and all his temptations. Affirm your faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Recall God’s covenant with you. As you dedicate yourself to God this Lent, you’ll come to know the Lord better. And that will make you more confident in his love and his grace.
So find extra time to pray this Lent. Give more of your time and money to people in need. Choose to fast, either from food or from a negative activity or habit. You might feel like Noah on the ark sometimes, and it might get messy. But the journey is worth it because when you finally reach the joy of Easter Sunday, you’ll be stepping into a fuller understanding and experience of God’s faithfulness and his salvation.
Lent has just begun. Let’s get on the boat!
“Lord, help me follow you into new life this Lent.”
you who breathed the spirit of life within me.
Draw out of me the light and life you created.
Help me to find my way back to you.
Help me to use my life to reflect your glory
and to serve others
as your son Jesus did.
Think of how can you renew your baptismal promises during Lent? Think of practical ways that you can renounce the devil and his temptations, and affirm your faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.