Dear friends in Christ
The Gospel of this Sunday gives us a rare insight into the righteous anger that Jesus felt when He experienced the Temple — the place where God is encountered — turned into a bazaar. By this act of Cleansing the Temple, Jesus shows both symbolically and practically how we also have to purify ourselves so that we can encounter God. The customs of penance and mortification during Lent are outward exercises which we impose upon our bodies, so that we can approach God with minds and hearts more in-tune with His divine love. In mortification there is a paradox, a mystery, which can only be understood when love of God is present. Behind the apparent death is life, and he who egoistically tries to save his life for himself loses it. To bear fruit — loving God and helping others in an effective way — sacrifice is necessary. There is no harvest without a sowing season. When we each examine our lives in sincerity, we discover very many reasons to offer penance and mortification to God: our faults and failings, our lapses in loving, sins of thought, word, deed and omission. We could pray for the twofold grace of calmness and kindness this Lent: calmness, so that we may find the space, time and silence needed to encounter God in prayer; and kindness, so that we may live the practical demands of our Faith. Our aim and goal is to arrive at Easter Day with love of God and neighbour made more perfect. God bless you!
Fr Kevin Hale