Fourth Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends in Christ 

Each week I try to present an image on the Newsletter of some piece of Catholic Art that relates to the Gospel of the day, one of other Readings or some theme in the liturgy of the season. The Parable of the Prodigal Son has been depicted by many artists, simply because it is one of the most famous short stories ever told. The painting this week is by Jacopo Palmo (1544-1628).  You will know from being at Mass that I have been making a more extensive catechesis of the Sacrament of Confession over these Sundays of Lent. This is because it is not only central to this penitential season, but because it is central to the Christian life. Together with the Blessed Eucharist, Confession or Reconciliation are the two Sacraments that we should be receiving most frequently. As we listen to the words of the Liturgy and of Sacred Scripture in these days, we are being called to a fuller life in Christ. Jesus wishes to dominate our lives in all their dimensions and for us to bring forth the fruits of holy lives. 

Very shortly we shall begin the final weeks of Lent, we approach Holy Week and Easter. This in itself draws us to repentance, mercy and forgiveness. A little while longer and the mystery of our salvation will be accomplished. If at times we have been reticent about penance and atonement, we will be filled with courage at the thought of how short is the time involved and how great the reward, a prize entirely disproportionate to our own small efforts. Let us cheerfully follow Jesus, and confidently seek His mercy in Confession.  Pope Francis is talking about this all the time.  He said recently: each of us should ask ourselves: When was the last time I went to Confession? And if it’s been a long time, do not lose another day! Jesus is there, be courageous, go to Confession. Pope Benedict called the crisis we are experiencing in the Church, the crisis of Confession. He wrote to all of us priests asking to rediscover and help others discover the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It’s a Sacrament we need to use and cherish.  It’s there to help us become the children of God that we are meant to be, and let go of all the rubbish and baggage that we carry out, of the sins, that Christ died for. 

God bless you!

Msgr Kevin Hale 01702 478078
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