Lent is a penitential season when we’re encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation: to go to confession. Some people look forward to doing this – others, not so much! Many just don’t think they need to go – for lots of reasons. Don’t plan to celebrate the sacrament this Lent? Here are a dozen reasons you can choose from!
Today’s first reading continues with the accounts in the Book of Genesis. We move from the story of Cain and Abel at the beginning of Genesis 4 to the story of Noah in Genesis 6. Let me fill in the highlights in between. The descendants of Cain are described in terms of violence (Lamech) and yet at the same time as craftsmen, nomads, and minstrels. We also learn that Adam and Eve have another son, Seth, who is described – not in terms of occupation – but in terms of the practice of worshiping God as Seth’s lineage “began to invoke the LORD by name.” (Gen 4:26). Genesis 5 is a genealogy of the generations from Seth to Noah. – and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Taking the text literally, between the sin of Cain and the Flood is a period of 1,600 years. Quite a long time to let things play out, so to speak.
Do you know the book of Jonah? Everyone knows the story, right? Jonah was a disobedient prophet who rejected his divine commission, tried to run away, was cast overboard in a storm and swallowed by a great fish, rescued in a marvelous manner, and returned to his starting point. Lots of people know this much of the story. But that is the briefest of summaries of just the first chapter. The summary above does not include a lot of information and perspective from the beginning verses. It ends up missing the point and trajectory of the first chapter and the whole book itself. There are three more chapters after the great fish and the subsequent rescue – and a lot more to know about the Book of Jonah.