First Sunday of Lent

Year B / Sunday, February 21, 2021

This Sunday’s Readings:

Genesis 9:8–15 

Psalm 25:4–5, 6–7, 8–9 (Rx see 10) 

1 Peter 3:18–22 

Mark 1:12–15 

WE CAN GET OVERLY FOCUSED ON INDIVIDUAL SIN AND PERSONAL SALVATION DURING LENT. Yet one of the biggest lessons learned from last year’s Lent is that our well-being is intimately tied to the well-being of others. Healing must be a communal effort. Slowly we began to understand that when one member of the body suffers, all suffer with it. 

The effects of our individual transgressions are often magnified by systemic corruption that brings harm to others we may not even know. In the same way, every personal choice to not only turn away from sin but also work for the good influences and strengthens the entire body. God’s grace that enables us to bring healing can go viral if we share it by our own repentance. 

In today’s readings, God makes a covenant of salvation not with one person or one family but with an entire race and beyond, with all of creation—a covenant between God and the earth. Though we may sin by our individual acts, we are not alone in our struggle against evil. Even Jesus was not alone as he faced his own temptations. God saves a people so that each member of the body may find strength in the other and rejoice in the salvation of all. 

—Diana Macalintal 


Suggested Music

Expanded listings for Sundays and Solemnities can be found at

The Time of Fulfillment: A Lenten Gathering Rite

James Chepponis

G-3906 · SATB, cantor, assembly

Intended to be an opening song for the Lenten season, the verses are set for all five Sundays, while the assembly only needs to learn one refrain. A simple Kyrie is also included.

MYSTAGOGY MOMENT: “This is the time of fulfillment! The reign of God is at hand!”

James Chepponis conceived this piece to be “sparse and purposely brief” so that the ritual action could be the focus. Many of us find ourselves distracted during the opening processional. What does the processional cross symbolize for each of us? What burdens do we bring with us when we come to mass? We all carry our own crosses, but Jesus used his cross to win victory over sin and death and bring the reign of God to us all. How will you use your cross?

– Victoria Zibell

God, Give Us Grace these Lenten Days

J. Michael Thompson

005777 · Unison, keyboard 

Return to God

John Angotti, Text by Alan J. Hommerding

008340 ·Unison choir, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar    

Pan del Cielo / Bread of Heaven

Eleazar Cortés, arr. Jeffrey Honoré and Peter Kolar  

012643 · Two-part choir, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, opt. marimba  

More suggestions for the First Sunday of Lent…

Remember Your Mercies, Lord • M. Roger Holland II     

SATB, cantor, assembly, piano


I Want Jesus to Walk with Me • arr. Ronald Nelson

SAB, keyboard


I Want Jesus to Walk with Me • arr. Colin Lett



Jesus Lead the Way • arr. Richard Proulx

SATB, organ


Show Us Mercy • Janèt Sullivan Whitaker

Unison Choir, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar