I am preaching at the 5:30 Feb. 20th Saturday evening Mass and the 11:00am Feb. 21st Sunday morning Mass on this First Week of Lent.
Here is he link to the Sunday Readings: http://www.usccb.org/nab/022110.shtml
In addition to considering each of the weekly Scriptures,the entire season of Lent can be considered as a whole. I am sometimes given to such "series" of homilies in a season. I am not considering doing so this year.
My first reaction to Sunday's readings is "prove it!". The first reading instructs the Jews to remember who they are and to prove it by tithing. Tithing is that practice of dedicating the first born, the first fruits, and the best portion (ten percent usually) to the Lord. This act of devotion is to indicate recognition of the source of all blessings. Everything is God's (including me) and He deserves the symbolic "first/best" of the harvest. I demonstrate "whose" I am by how I handle my stuff.
In a similar but almost opposite way, Jesus refuses to prove "who" he is to the devil with external works. In doing so he proves his true identity. This is a very human temptation, that is, to try to win the respect or approval of "the world" by proving that you are "one of them". We try to prove ourselves to be "players" with those the "really" matter.
I think the hungry world is looking toward religious people and asking us to prove what we teach by who we are. The pope calls them "witnesses" rather than teachers. The deeds of love, justice, and charity are the authenticating "proof" of who we claim to be. What proof is there that we are the children of God, family of Jesus, members of the Church in the best sense of the Word?
Get into the ring! How this works...
This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!