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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflection for February 18

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

February 18, 2018 — First Sunday of Lent
Mark 1:12-15
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

Karl Menninger, a renowned psychiatrist, wrote a book in 1973 entitled Whatever Became of Sin? He said that people worry about crime, violence, terrorism, war, cheating, unethical conduct, and a host of other problems, but still avoid talk of sin. Yet, he added, that sin exists and should be spelled “s I n,” for it means that I set myself and my choices against those of God and others. Sin is pride and self-centeredness.

The Bible tells how God created human beings and invited them to choose what was right. Instead, Adam and Eve ate from the “tree of knowledge of good and bad.” In effect, they said to God, “We will decide what is right and wrong.” They set their choices against God’s, and sin entered the world, alienating people from God, from one another, and from creation: Adam and Eve hid from God, blamed each other, and felt pain and suffering. And over everything fell the dark shadow of death (Genesis 2 3).

Adam and Eve are all those who make sinful choices and live in a world which is far from paradise because it is limited by the sins of countless generations. Repeatedly, nations have been destroyed by war, and societies undermined by lust. Sin immerses people in a flood of self inflicted evil.

What is true for society is true for us as individuals. When we oppose God’s will and choose our way over God’s, we inevitably suffer. Through sin we lose peace of mind, and find instead the anguish of guilt.

Jesus came to conquer sin, as we see in today’s Gospel. After defeating the temptations of Satan in the desert, Jesus preaches the gospel, the Good News, of God: “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” He tells us that it’s time to take the “I” out of sin, to put God first. To grow during this Lent in love of God and neighbor.

We need help for this Lenten project, and we’ll find it in Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. There is no “s-I-n” in Mary. Let’s pray every day this Lent: “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”

Read last week's reflection.