Dear Friends in Christ
This is the final Sunday - in the old calendar it is known as Quinquagesima Sunday - before the start of Lent. From today, fifty days separate us from the celebration of Easter and now is the time when we can begin to reflect on how we shall live our Lent. In the Gospel of this Sunday Jesus says that we cannot be the slave of two masters. Lent allows us the opportunity, if we but take it, to examine our lives to see whether we are God’s servants or if we are slaves to the world. Sometimes we might think there is a fine line: we want to love and serve God but we also have to live in the world and all it has to offer. The two are not incompatible but we have to be continually aware that what God offers is infinitely better and richer. Pope Francis reminds us in his Lenten Message to the Church:
Lent is the favourable season for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and in our neighbour. The Lord, who overcame the deceptions of the Tempter during the forty days in the desert, shows us the path we must take. May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need.
I would like the start of Lent to be for us also the initiation of our spiritual preparation for the Parish Mission which will take place from 7th - 15th October. There will be Mission Prayer Cards available from next weekend and I ask you all to say the prayer daily for the spiritual fruits of the Mission, in this our Diocesan Centenary Year. As a Parish Family my hope is that we can all live this Lent with a renewed purpose and each draw closer to Christ in prayer and self-sacrificing love.
God bless you all!
Msgr Kevin Hale