14 Feb 2015

15th February 2015 - Reflection on Lent - 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

On this weeks programme John and Shane reflect on the season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday (February 18th). We have our regular reflection on the gospel of the Sunday with some liturgical odds and ends and notices.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.

Reflection on Lent

Lent is seen in a very negative sense - understood in the context of "giving things up", but it also be seen as a joyous season when we return to the embracing love of God. It is a season of time - an opportunity of kairos - where we can do a self evaluation and undertake a spiritual operation transformation. 

We are given the opportunity to focus on 
(a) a time for Prayer - a time to enter into a dialogue with God; when we can make the time to allow God speak to us, and for us to speak to God. 
(b) a time for Fasting - a time to look at our lives and instead of giving up some luxury in our life like chocolate perhaps to do a more serious review and ask ourselves what do I really need versus what do I want?
(c) a time for Solidarity - this has generally been expressed as charity and alms giving but perhaps their are other ways we can explore to express our solidarity with some one, and instead of giving money maybe give of our time?

You can listen to the reflection on Lent excerpted from this weeks programme HERE
During the Ash Wednesday service, usually a minister or priest marks the sign of the cross on a person's forehead with ashes saying "Repent and believe the Good News" or "Remember you are dust and unto dust you will return". In Jewish and Christian history, ashes are a sign of mortality and repentance. Mortality, because when we die, our bodies eventually decompose and we become dust/ dirt/ash/whatever. Repentance, because long ago, when people felt remorse for something they did, they would put ashes on their head and wear "sackcloth" (scratchy clothing) to remind them that sin is pretty uncomfortable and leads to a sort of death of the spirit. This was their way of confessing their sins and asking for forgiveness. We get ashes for Ash Wednesday by saving the palms from Palm Sunday, burning them, and mixing them with a little water (like tears) or oil. It's symbolic but as with all symbols if we give ourselves the time to reflect and dwell on it; to make karios instead of rushing for chronos .

Pope Francis message for Lent 2015

Gospel - Mark 1:40-45
And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once, and said to him, "See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people." But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Liturgical odds and ends

Liturgy of the Hours - up to Tuesday it is the 6th week in Ordinary time, psalter week 2; from Ash Wednesday it is the season of Lent, psalter week 4.

Saints of the Week

During the season of Lent, the days of Lent have precedence over the memorials of the saints which fall during the season with two exceptions in the Irish liturgical calendar for St Patrick's day (17th March) and feast of St Joseph (19th March). The Sundays of Lent take precedence over all feasts and all solemnities. Solemnities are moved to the preceding Saturdays.

17th February - St Fintan
18th February - Ash Wednesday - Day of Fast and Abstinence
19th February - Thursday after Ash Wednesday
20th February - Friday after Ash Wednesday
21st February - Saturday after Ash Wednesday
22nd February - 1st Sunday of Lent

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