THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WEEKLY THROUGHOUT LENT
Easter is the celebration of Christ's resurrection. It represents the fulfilment of God's promises to mankind. As we know from the Gospels, Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day following his crucifixion. His resurrection marks the triumph of good over evil, sin and death. It is the singular event which proves that those who trust in God and accept Christ will be raised from the dead.
This Easter is different for us all, but let us put all our trust in the risen Lord and never cease praying.
The cross gives life - this is the central mystery of Easter and the profound meaning we enter into as we keep vigil. Tonight, the hand of the Creator reaches out once again to invite us into the new creation that is born out of the Paschal Mystery and beckons us to follow Christ from death to Resurrection. The fullness of life emerges in hope, joy, promise, and possibility from the very foot of the cross.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS
We may not be able to pray together in our church, but here is a video (made hurriedly), from which you can follow and pray the Stations of the Cross just as we would do in church. Let us try and do this on the remaining Fridays in Lent and especially on Good Friday.
Isaiah’s (Isaiah 52:13-53:12) description of the suffering servant helps us understand the conversion of the Good Thief. The man’s sin led him to his death sentence, but he now recognizes in Christ the freedom, hope, and promise possible even at his final moments. A person of sin knows that to lift these burdens is an immeasurable gift of freedom, new life, and possibility. As we consider the cross of Christ this Good Friday, where do you yearn for freedom, hope, and possibility in your life? Let us thank and praise Jesus for offering us the means of salvation. We adore You O Christ and we worship You, because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.
HOLY (MAUNDY) THURSDAY
Our celebration of the Eucharist requires that we wash one another’s feet, i.e., serve one another and revere Christ's presence in other persons. To wash the feet of others is to love them, especially when they don't deserve our love, and to do good to them, even when they can’t or don't return the favour. It is to consider others' needs to be as important as our own. It is to forgive others from the heart, even though they don't say, "I'm sorry." It is to serve them, even when the task is unpleasant. It is to let others know we care when they feel downtrodden or burdened. It is to be generous with what we have. It is to turn the other cheek instead of retaliating when we're treated unfairly. It is to make adjustments in our plans in order to serve others' needs without expecting any reward. In doing and suffering all these things in this way, we love and serve Jesus Himself, as He has loved us and has taught us to do.
PALM SUNDAY OF THE LORD'S PASSION
The exclamation “Hosanna!” is a way to praise God, but also carries the literal meaning “God save us.” Between happiness and heartbreak, this day calls us to let go and give our fears, sorrows, and burdens over to Christ as he approaches Calvary. In Holy Week, when the most bitter sufferings of Jesus Christ are put before us by the liturgy, the Church invites us to come to Calvary and follow in the blood-stained footsteps of the Divine Redeemer, to carry the Cross willingly with Him, to reproduce in our hearts His spirit of expiation and atonement, and to die together with Him. Eternal God, grant us the grace to preserve faithfully the lessons
Jesus has given us in his Passion and to have a share in His resurrection.
FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT
The Gospel reading this Sunday is from John 1:1-45. Set against the backdrop of Jesus’ impending death, many aspects of the raising of Lazarus foreshadow the good news of Jesus’ own Resurrection. Jesus always acts in complete obedience to God. In raising Lazarus, Jesus shows his power over death so that when Jesus dies, those who believe in him might remember that and take hope. Just as Jesus calls for the stone to be rolled away from Lazarus’s tomb, so too will the disciples find the stone rolled away from Jesus’ tomb at the Resurrection. Make an act of faith in Jesus as the resurrection and the life for you.
FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT
We ought to glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection. We want to serve You, Lord. By Your grace may our good desires bear their fruits; for the penances we have undertaken will be useful only if they please Your loving heart. This we ask of You through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. Favour us, Lord, with Your presence and may Your blessing remain always upon us. This we ask of You through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. Let us glorify the Lord always and may the almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless and keep us. Amen.
THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT
Living God, whose son Jesus conquered death and lives forever, giving us cause for hope. We hold before You those places and situations in our world which seem lifeless and hopeless. We bring before You in prayer those who farm against the odds of bad weather. We pray for those whose livelihoods and futures are in jeopardy through drought, flood or the pressures resulting from the coronavirus. We pray for those who go without or have to pay inflated prices which they can ill afford in order to feed their families. We pray for those who exploit our fears, that they may understand the power of Your love. We thank You for the hope for salvation which Jesus brings and the gift of Your Holy Spirit, from whom we can draw hope, courage and faith. Amen.
SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT
Loving God, there is so much darkness in my life and I hide from you. Take my hand and lead me out of the shadows of my fear. Help me to change my heart. Bring me to your truth
and help me to respond to your generous love. Let me recognize the fullness of your love which will fill my life. Free me from the darkness in my heart. Your commandment of love is so simple and so challenging. Help me to let go of my pride, to be humble in my penance. I want only to live the way you ask me to love, to love the way you ask me to live. I ask this through your son, Jesus,who stands at my side today and always. Amen.
FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT
On this first Sunday of Lent, Jesus’ strength in prayer is a gift of encouragement for our journey of faith - a gift to take with us into our own wildernesses where the voice of temptation utters false words. These hands fused in prayer remind us to resist the isolation that the devil’s false words bring, and to remain in the grip of grace - joined to God.
Lord Jesus, Priest and Victim, I unite the sacrifice of my life and the cross I carry to Your blood shed for me. I shelter myself in Your wounds and I draw all strength from You. O Lord, my heart is ready to do everything for Your greater glory. Amen.
On this first day of Lent, we don ashes and hear the call to return to the Lord. The path of this return can seem daunting, intimidating. Looking inward can mean taking a hard look at everything that keeps us from living life to the fullest. It is easier to avoid this and fall prey to worldly distractions. Yet we are reassured: “Gracious and merciful is the Lord, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment....” (Psalm 102(3):8-18)
Let us pray for a renewal and strengthening of our faith this Lent.
PRAYER FOR A FRUITFUL LENT
My precious and crucified Lord, I offer You this Lent.
I offer it to You with total abandonment and trust.
I offer You my prayers, sacrifices and my very life this day.
Do with me, Lord, as You will.
I pray that this Lent will be fruitful.
I know You have much to say to me and much to do in my life.
May this Lent be a time through which Your mercy is poured in abundance into my soul,
and into the souls of all Your faithful.
Dearest Lord, help me to especially see my sin, this Lent.
Humble me so that I may see clearly.
Give me courage and strength to confess my sins,
and to turn from them with all my heart.
Enlighten me with Your Holy Word, dear Lord.
Help me to come to know You and to deepen the gift of faith in my life.
Show me the plan You have for me,
and place my feet upon the path You have chosen.
Lord, I thank You for the fullness of Your perfect Sacrifice.
I thank You for holding nothing back,
giving Your life to the last drop of blood.
May I offer You my very life as a sacrifice,
trusting in Your mercy with every offering.
Keep me faithful to my Lenten promises,
and bring forth new life through these sacrifices of love.
Strengthen my prayer and make me holy.
Help me to turn to You, each day,
seeking Your sacred and pierced Heart.
Blessed Mother, you stood by your Son in His suffering and death,
stand by me, I pray, as I journey through this life.
Pray for me and offer me to Your Son,
that He may take me into His loving embrace.
Lord, Jesus, Son of the Living God,
have mercy on me a sinner.
Mother Mary, Mother of our Crucified Lord,
pray for us who have recourse to thee.
ASH WEDNESDAY AND LENT - WHAT IS IT?
The blessing of the ashes and the significance of the day: The priest dipping his thumb into ashes (collected from burnt palms of the previous year’s Palm Sunday), marks the forehead of each with the sign of the cross, saying the words, "Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return" or “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” By marking the sign of the cross with ashes on the foreheads of her children, the Church gives us:
a firm conviction that a) we are mortal beings, b) our bodies will become dust when buried and ashes if cremated, and c) our life-span is very brief and unpredictable;
a strong warning that we will be eternally punished if we do not repent of our sins and do penance; and
a loving invitation to realize and acknowledge our sinful condition and return to our loving and forgiving God with true repentance as the prodigal son did.
On Ash Wednesday, we are invited to effect a real conversion and renewal of life during the period of Lent by fasting, penance, and reconciliation.
“There is joy in the salutary fasting and abstinence of Christians who eat and drink less in order that their minds may be clearer and more receptive to receive the sacred nourishment of God's word, which the whole Church announces and meditates upon in each day's liturgy throughout Lent” (Thomas Merton).
Penance and Reconciliation
Lent is a time for forgivenessand reconciliation. It is the model given by Jesus. It was his teaching: “If any one wishes to follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” and “Try to enter through the narrow gate.” Penance removes the weakness left by sin in our souls and it makes our prayers more fruitful. By receiving the ashes, we confess that we are sinners in need of the mercy of God, and we ask forgiveness for the various ways in which we have hurt our brothers and sisters. Let us allow the spirit of forgiveness to work its healing influence in our parishes and families.