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Repent and Believe in the Good News!

Background Music: Panalangin by Mark Anthony Cuevas
    Voiced by: Jona Valdez

February 18, 2024 First Sunday of Lent
Daily readings: Genesis 9:8–15, 1 Peter 3:18–22, Mark 1:12–15

The liturgy of the Word of God today deals with Covenantal fidelity of God. God establishes a covenant with human persons and with all of creation after the deluge that destroyed the earth so that God might renew the face of the earth. God promises to protect the universe that He created. But the reality is quite different, and humanity struggles to give meaning to it, discounting the calamities, the numerous wounds that we continue to create and inflict upon flora and fauna, and all the foul games that we keep playing.

In the name of scientific inventions and discoveries, we fail to respect the original order and beauty of God’s creation. The reading calls for us to give adequate care to Mother Earth, our common home, by shunning consumerism and irresponsible development. It is one thing to lament over environmental degradation and global warming, but it is another thing to take “swift and unified global action,” as Pope Francis loves to call it.

St. Peter, in the Second Reading, recalls the purpose of the flood and the God-saving act of Noah and his family. The deluge renews the earth and washes away sinful humanity. Baptism saves us through Christ’s salvific death. The sacrament of Baptism creates a good conscience and a new humanity through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The text of today also opens the doors of heaven so that we can see God seated on the throne, Jesus, the Son of God, at His right hand, along with His angels, authorities, and powers.

Jesus’ baptism marks a new beginning in his public life. The Son of God needs to spend forty days in the wilderness to pray and to fast as an immediate preparation for the public ministry that he is about to begin. A desert land with all its special geographical features is a place of temptation. The temptations of Jesus are all about a tension between two wills: God’s will and the will of Satan. It is a question of priority: God or Satan? It is a question of focus: God’s kingdom or Satan’s kingdom?

For Mark the Evangelist, Jesus begins his ministry as John the Baptist fades into oblivion. The first proclamation of Jesus contains four elements. There are two facts: (i) The time of salvation has been fulfilled; (ii) the Kingdom of God has drawn nearer. The next pair contains the imperative to respond to this message: (i) Repent and (ii) Believe in the good news. These are the words pronounced by the Minister on Ash Wednesday. These words should resonate in our hearts and minds throughout the forty days of Lent.

Call to Action for Catholic Living: What does “repent and believe in the Good News” mean to me in my context today?


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.