Noah’s Thanksoffering, Joseph Anton Koch, c. 1803
Fr. Smith’s Commentary on the First Reading
First Sunday of Lent
February 21, 2021
The story of Noah and the Ark has been the source of so many movies, children’s toys and stories, and memorable New Yorker cartoons that we can forget that it addresses many serious issues. As we look at this in Lent, we should remember that it is the first time that “covenant” is mentioned in the Bible. A covenant then as now is the way that the LORD wishes to express the kind of relationship he wants with us.
Christian and Jewish scholars agree that covenant is the legal means by which kinship is established between another individual or group. This is not a contract, a mere sharing of goods and services, but a sharing of life. It usually consists of the stipulation of what this sharing will mean, a sacrifice of an animal, and the swearing of oaths of one or both parties. There is often a visible sign of the covenant and a common meal.Continue reading “1st Sunday of Lent – God’s Radical Invitation”