Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
February 18, 2018 – 1st Sunday of Lent (Cycle B, Year II)
Community Word: Our relationship with the Father gives us hope and fullness of life.
Theme: We receive fullness of life when we repent and firmly believe in the gospel.
Promise: “The Lord shows the sinners the way. He guides the humble to justice, he teaches the humble his way.” (Ps 25: 8 – 9)
While we are in this world, temptation or being tempted is part of our everyday life. Jesus was no exception that while he was in the desert, he was tempted by the devil. If Jesus, Savior and God, who came to set us free from our sins had to fight his own temptation, how much more for us. He allowed himself to experience the pull towards evil, the struggle against ego and the painful decision for or against God. Like Jesus, we do face all kinds of temptations, but we rely on God alone and His protection against all enemies. Temptations are tests and when we overcome these tests with God’s help, we emerge stronger and better followers of Christ.
As we begin the season of Lent, Jesus is teaching us how to be firm against temptation. As our mentor, he leads us by the hand and brings us to the fulfillment of the promises of our heavenly Father. This is highlighted in our community word for this month which states: Our relationship with the Father gives us hope and fullness of life. In the face of temptations, God will surely give us the grace to overcome all risks to our souls and to grow in holiness and fulfillment of our Christian faith.
Our theme for this weeks is – We receive fullness of life when we repent and firmly believe in the gospel. Lent is our desert experience. During this season, we are exhorted to stay close to God through our prayers and acts of charity and penance. Lent is the time to recover our baptismal innocence through repentance so that we may go through the path of life with purified hearts. It is the time to refocus our life and our commitment to the Lord in our faith journey. While we are on an earthly pilgrimage, we are bound to be threatened by temptations coming from our natural desires, from the world around us and from Satan himself as we make choices that are in fact death-dealing but disguised as life-giving. Inevitably, we fall into sin that brings us farther away from the Father. Lent is an opportunity for us to re-establish our relationship with the Lord through repentance and putting our trust and faith in the Good News of our salvation. Jesus is calling us to learn from his teachings, to prepare our lives for God’s kingdom and to be renewed and restored towards our very purpose in God’s plan.
During this Lenten season, let us direct our minds to the self-giving love of Jesus, and truly believe in his love. There is no greater love than the love of Jesus on the cross that conquers all else in the world. It is given by the mercy and compassion of God. Lent pours the grace of forgiveness to mankind, individually and as a people. We need to know that God is bigger than our sins, confusion, violence and hatred. God wants His kingdom to come now as His word in Mark 1:15 declares: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.” Our response is to be one with the Lord in declaring this same message to everyone else, with the hope that all may be saved from the effects of evil and sin.
During the next five weeks of Lent, we are encouraged to be more prayerful, to meditate daily on the gospel and to do something good for others every day. We can make our Lent more meaningful by caring for others and extending forgiveness to those who have hurt us. Above all, we should learn to acknowledge our failures and allow the Lord to come into our hearts where His grace and mercy may minister to our weary souls. Because as promised in Psalms: “The Lord shows the sinners the way. He guides the humble to justice, he teaches the humble his way,” (Ps 25: 8).
Heavenly Father, we pray for the grace to turn away from sin so that we may live according to the Good News proclaimed by Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. We pray that during this season of Lent, we may receive the grace to be humble in asking and receiving Your forgiveness and to reform our lives towards the goal of eternal reward. Amen.
1. As act of repentance, what are the areas in your life that you need to fully surrender to God?
2. In what ways are you helping build the kingdom of God in your life, family, society and community?
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
February 18, 2018 (Sun) – Gn 9:8-15/Ps 25:4-9/1Pt 3:18-22/Mk 1:12-15
February 19, 2018 (Mon) – Lv 19:1, 2, 11-18/Ps 19:8-10, 15/Mt 25:31-46
February 20, 2018 (Tue) – Is 55:10-11/Ps 34:4-7, 16-19/Mt 6:7-15
February 21, 2018 (Wed) – Jon 3:1-10/Ps 3, 4, 12, 13, 18, 19/Lk 11:219-32
February 22, 2018 (Thu) – 1Pt 5:1-4/Ps 23:1-6/Ps 23:1-69/Mt 16:13-19
February 23, 2018 (Fri) – Ez 18:21-28/Ps 130:1-8/Mt 5:20-26
February 24, 2018 (Sat) – Dt 26:16-19/Ps 119:1-5, 7, 8/Mt 5:43-48
“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”