— The Lord’s Day —
Lent, the First Sunday

“... who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water..” (1 Peter 3:20)

Saint Augustine of Hippo comments on this verse from the Second Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“The question which you put to me about the spirits in hell is one which disturbs me profoundly. What troubles me most is why only those who were imprisoned in the days of Noah should deserve this benefit. Think of all the others who have died since Noah’s time and whom Jesus could have found in hell. The meaning must be that the ark of Noah is a picture of the church, and so those who were imprisoned in his days represent the entire human race. In hell Christ rebuked the wicked and consoled the good, so that some believed to their salvation and others disbelieved to their damnation.” (Letters, 164)

Grant, almighty God,
through the yearly observances of holy Lent,
that we may grow in understanding
of the riches hidden in Christ
and by worthy conduct pursue their effects.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen