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Sunday, February 21, 2021

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First Sunday of Lent

Genesis 9:8-15
1 Peter 3:18-22
Psalm 25:4-9
Mark 1:12-15

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“A few persons, eight in all, escaped in the ark through the water. You are now saved by a baptismal bath which corresponds to this exactly.” —1 Peter 3:20-21

After Noah’s flood, God promised: “Never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood” (Gn 9:11). In fact, God went a step farther than not destroying us by water. He decided to save us through water. “You are now saved by a baptismal bath” (1 Pt 3:21).
During Lent, thousands of catechumens are preparing for new life in Christ through the waters of Baptism (see Rm 6:4). We, who have already been baptized and begotten from above through faith in Jesus, are walking with those soon to be baptized. This Lenten walk to the living waters is an opportunity for all of us to renew our baptismal promises to the Lord Jesus. Millions will take this opportunity on Easter Sunday at every Mass celebrated in the world.
First, however, we must walk through the desert of Lent before coming to the life-giving waters of Easter (Mk 1:12). As we fast and pray, our hardened hearts begin to change. We repent of sin and remove from our lives those things incompatible with our baptismal commitment to Jesus. We are new, fresh, fully alive. Our Baptism is clearly “the pledge to God of an irreproachable conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pt 3:21).

Prayer:  Father, by Lent’s end may I feel as if I just emerged from the waters of Baptism.

Promise:  “This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the gospel!” —Mk 1:15

Praise:  “But God will redeem Me from the power of the nether world by receiving Me” (Ps 49:16). Praise You, Jesus! Your life and mission are prophesied in the Psalms.

Reference:  (For a related teaching on Baptismal Promises - Do You Reject Satan?, order, listen to, or download our CD 83-1 or DVD 83 on our website.)

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021. Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio March 31, 2020"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.