I Peter 3: 18-22
Mark 1: 9-15
First Sunday in Lent
February 22, 2015
TEXT: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near, repent, and believe the good news." (Mark 1:15).
At a large University graduation exercise, the University President rose to address the graduates and confer the degrees. He began by explaining the meaning of the traditional Latin phrases used ...
If a student graduates "Cum Laude," it means "With Honors." If a student graduates "Magna Cum Laude" it means "With High Honors." If a student graduates "Summa Cum Laude" it means "With Supreme Honors."
Then he said, "There's a new honor I plan to use in the future to be called "Magna Cum Pellidentium." It means, "By the skin of your teeth."
In the Lenten Season which has begun, the call to repentance is emphasized. It is a time to take stock of what we've been doing with our lives. It is a time to evaluate spiritual progress. And, in so doing, it becomes a time to acknowledge that, in terms of our life in the "Divinely Created School of Learning How To Love," we have yet to graduate with honors. The call to repentance means that we are not on the level of a Summa Cum Laude, or a Magna Cum Laude, or even a Cum Laude. For many of us, we fall into the Magna Cum Pellidentium category. We're living up to our Christian discipleship "by the skin of our teeth."