18 Feb 2012

19th February 2012 - 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) - Reflection on the Beginning of Lent

On this weeks programme Fr Micheál Liston gives us a short reflection on Ash Wednesday and the holy season of Lent. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some celestial guides for the week and some local notices.
This weeks podcast is available HERE.
The Joyful Season of Lent

"The joyful season of Lent" - it is an arresting phrase describing the season of Lent which is Fr Micheál's catch phrase this week.

Generally Lent is seen as being a season of doing without, where we are called to repent and believe the Gospel. But for the ordinary person perhaps it could be summed up in a child-like expression as "Don't be bold and say your prayers" (Ná bi dána agus abhair do phaidreacha).

Fr Micheál reminds us that the season of Lent is a journey towards Easter and that we should travel with good heart to the joyful event of the Resurrection at Easter, to make room for the joyful heart to enter into us. After all the grace of God is knocking on the doors of our hearts, it is very near. It is an opportunity to turn once more to a welcoming Father; to a Father who wants to share with us his peace; the peace of Easter and the new hope.

Light a candle and enter into some prayer, no matter how little. God is always waiting to hear from us. The season allows us to do a small bit of harrowing of our heart, a bit of sowing of seeds of faith, hope and love into our lives. A time to shake ourselves up a small bit, to re-engage with the passionate love of our Saviour for each one of us

It is also a season to re-enter into communion with our sisters and brother in the faith, those around us and those around the world with the opportunity to reach out materially and in prayer to those in need.

Psalm 51:

Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervor sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
and sinners may return to you.

O rescue me, God, my helper,
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.

For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse;
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit,
a humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn

Walk with Joyful heart with Jesus and Mary. Open your hearts and believe in the Resurrection

Gospel - Mark 2: 1-12

If we put ourselves into the story, how would we have reacted to the opening of the roof above our heads as if the roof is falling in? How would we have reacted if it was our house? How did Jesus react to the this event? We have to admire the determination of the bearers to encounter God. And that is the question for us, do we really make the effort to encounter God? Lent is a time set aside in the liturgical calender for us to make that effort to draw close to God. The gospel reminds us of this need to draw close to the healing power of God in our lives.

Are you the paralytic perhaps? The man was cured not just of the physical illness but also the social conditioning which would have seen the illness as divine retribution for sin. Jesus still calls out to each one of us to meet him in the sacraments of healing especially the Sacrament of Confession, he calls us out of the depression of our daily lives into the light of his love.
Other reflections on this weeks gospel are available at:

Saints of the Week
February 20th - St Elizabeth of Mantua
February 21st - St Peter Damian
February 22nd - Ash Wednesday (Day of Fast and Abstinence)
February 23rd - St Polycarp (Bishop and martyr)
February 24th - St Adela of Blois
February 25th - St Walburga

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