First Reading: Genesis 9: 8-15
Psalm: 25 (25): 4-6, 7b-9
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3: 18-22
Gospel: Mark 1: 12-15
Jesus is truly God and truly human. A number of heresies have arisen over history as to His true identity.
The Arians denied His divinity. This is something the Jehovah Witnesses and some other sects believe in our time.
Others believed that His divinity overshadowed His humanity so that He only appeared to be human. This is called Monophysitism. It is a doctrine which believes in the person of Christ, the incarnated Word (i.e., Jesus), there is only one nature, namely the Divine. It ultimately denies the humanity of Jesus. His humanity is dissolved in His divinity.
Jesus is, in Catholic belief, truly human and truly divine, and that this is a permanent reality.
We have in Jesus someone we can imitate. His actions are divine, yet they are also human. He walks with us.
Jesus is tempted in today’s Gospel. He does not give in to temptation. He models for us the victory of God over sin. In Jesus we know that we do not have to be slaves of sin.
We cannot overcome sin by ourselves. None of us can be perfect.
However, we can change, we can grow, we can leave behind bad habits, we can sin less.
Conversion is not always dramatic and instantaneous. It often takes time for us to let go of habits that might have been there for some time.
God is patient with us, and he understands our weakness.
That does not mean that we can just do what we like and not co-operate with God’s grace and repent, and even make amends for our sins.
With God’s grace, and the support of others in the church family, we can indeed be ‘born again’.
We can take up our cross every day and follow Jesus.
We hear the words of Jesus: “Repent and believe the Good News”.