Second Sunday Of Lent – 17 March 2019

Pastor’s Note

Lent II

The gospel this Sunday takes us to Mount Tabor. What an experience this must have been for Peter, James and John. Over the past years I’ve envied them; if only I could have my own version of the transfiguration. If only I could hear a voice from the clouds telling me with certainty that God is right here, right now with me. This probably won’t happen – but we’re still called to believe, that’s the essence of our faith. We all, look for signs and reassurance; there’s nothing wrong with seeking signs and symbols to remind us of God’s presence with us. Lent is rich in sign and symbol that can take us to God- Ashes, the scriptures, prayer, fasting, alms-giving, the sacraments, Lenten traditions and observances. The observances of Lent can help us to clear a path. But we can’t stop there if we want to experience real transformation and spiritual growth. If we really desire renewal and rebirth change cannot be skin deep. “Rend your hearts not your garments”. The opening Lenten scripture tells us. Yes! Lent is about our hearts. I think often in our catholic tradition we put too much focus on “giving up things for Lent” and ‘doing things for Lent” rather than going inwards to our hearts. A true Lent means taking a risk by going deeper to the heart to find what really makes us tick. Start from fasting from sin and endeavour to make a friend of silence. Nourish yourself with the word of God – the scriptures. The daily liturgical scripture readings for the 40 days prior to Easter were originally chosen to educate the catechumens preparing for baptism. There is a sense in which these chosen texts were the original catechism of the church. The daily scripture readings, during Lent are a great way to be in touch with God’s word. Lent is about renewal and rebirth. Together with the sacraments, it’s the scriptures that renew us and bring us to new birth. They are essential for any Christian life. Let’s conclude with helpful thoughts from Pope Francis: Do you want to fast this Lent?
  • Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
  • Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
  • Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
  • Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
  • Fast from worries and trust in God.
  • Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
  • Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
  • Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
  • Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.
  • Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
  • Fast from words and be silent, so you can listen.
  May this joyful season be yours in abundance.   Monsignor Paul Farmer Pastor , St Benedict’s Parish                                                                                

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