Second Sunday of Lent
Sunday 17 March 2019
Today we celebrate the wonderful story of the Transfiguration, that great moment when the disciples experienced a glimpse of Jesus’ true identity. We offer a reflection for prayer this week.
From a cloud and in a crowd,
God speaks to us:
CALLING US TO BE LOVERS OF JUSTICE,
TO SHARE HOPE WITH THE BROKEN.
On mountaintops and in neighbourhoods,
Christ calls to us:
WITH A WORD AND WITH WONDER,
MOULDING US INTO WHO WE ARE.
On the playground and at the work place,
the Spirit whispers in our hearts.
GATHERING UP OUR FEARS AND OUR DREAMS,
AND OFFERING THEM TO GOD.
From glory’s mountaintops of wonder and delight,
where we long to stay, we will go.
TAKING GOD’S GRACE INTO
THE SHADOWS OF THE WORLD.
Walking the valleys of everyday life,
where noise overwhelms us, we will journey,
LISTENING TO THE VOICES OF ALL
WHO ARE GOD’S PRESENCE FOR US.
In the mist of misguided living, we will walk,
FOLLOWING THE ONE WHO COMES
TO LEAD US DOWN PATHS OF HUMILITY.
Petals of Grace.
© T.M.Shuman 2013-2016
Wild Goose Publications. UK
First Sunday of Lent
Sunday 10 March
Ash Wednesday began the Lenten period leading up to the Easter triduum which is a time set aside for penance, reflection and prayer. The ashes we received on our forehead not only symbolise the dust from which God made us but to remind us that life on earth passes. Today, the first Sunday in Lent which begins the 40 days leading up to Easter continues the theme of reviewing our lives in relationship to God, and to take up the invitation to journey with Christ to Calvary. This special period is for me both a gift and a struggle. As a gift, I feel it is a time of grace in which I have the space to reflect on Christ’s love for me manifest through His passion, death and resurrection. The struggle for me has been, and continues to be remaining a faithful disciple of Christ amid the current crisis in the Church. What has determined my choice to remain one with Christ despite my sinfulness and what is happening in the Church has been to take a step back to reflect on the big picture – that God offered his only beloved son for the salvation of all despite our unworthiness. Today’s readings begin to tell the story of salvation history in which God’s Divine love is made manifest. What is asked of you and me is to take up the challenge to take stock of our lives and to embrace the opportunity to be a companion with Christ as He walks toward His crucifixion and ultimate death.
Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday 3 March
This week the season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday.
The mark of the cross
The tradition of marking the forehead with ash on Ash Wednesday can be traced back to the ancient Jewish action of dusting oneself with ash as a sign of repentance and mourning for wrongful actions. It was a public declaration of the acknowledgement of the wrong and the commitment to turn one’s life around and try not to make the same mistake again. It still remains a public declaration that during the period of Lent those who wear the cross of ash are going to attempt to turn around their lives and re-focus themselves more fully on God.
Jesus repeatedly uses the phrase ‘your Father’ in this passage. In his own language, the word Jesus was using was the equivalent of ‘daddy’ or ‘papa’. It reflects a very intimate and very child-like relationship with God. This was a challenging new way of imaging God for the people of the 1st Century. Jesus’ emphasis on the intimate, loving relationship between God and ourselves is highlighted by his use of ‘your Father’. He doesn’t say ‘my Father’. That same intimate relationship is open to each and every one of us! We are God’s children.
How do you think the disciples reacted to what Jesus said to them in this passage?
How might you respond to those who cite this gospel passage as an argument against receiving the ashes on their forehead?
Where in your own life do you recognise elements of being like the hypocrites that Jesus criticises?
How has your observance of Lent (almsgiving, prayer, fasting) changed over time?
To what do you wish to commit yourself this Lenten season?
www.liturgyhelp.com.au Greg Sunter
Let us open our hearts this Lent to the transforming love of God who alone can change us.
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday 24 February 2019
What a challenging Gospel we have this weekend. If we followed all the things that Jesus asks us in this Gospel, can we begin to imagine what kind of world we would have?
Watching the news and listening to current affairs where do we see the following?
· Love your enemies
· Do good to those who hate you
· Bless those who curse you
· Pray for those who treat you badly
· Turn the other cheek
· Give your clothing to those with none
· Be compassionate
· Do not judge
· Grand pardon
· Treat others as you would like them to treat you.
We read and see a lot about retribution for certain actions, so let us see what we can do in our part of the world to make it a better place putting into practice the words of Jesus.