Lent Reflections 2021

 

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Ash Wednesday

 

Lent is a time of grace and spiritual growth. It is a time when we recall Jesus’ sacrifice more vividly. A time when we promise to be God’s instruments in shaping the future of our world. A time to straighten out our relationship with God and grow closer to Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our actions and in our prayers of need and thanksgiving. In our prayer of need, we cry to the God of history, and in our prayer of thanksgiving and love, we go beyond the God of history into the presence of ‘I AM WHO I AM’. In this prayer let us listen to the silent voice of God, who through the sacrifice of Jesus, is saying to each one of us, “I see your sorrow and your pain, I care for you and I love you”

Prayer

As we begin Lent, O holy God, strengthen us in our endeavours against evil. Bless our efforts to live in union with you and all the people of the world. Help us to discover whatever interferes with loving each other. We ask this in union with all people who begin this season in your name. Amen.

 

Patience Ezimigbo  OLA

 

Friday 19th February


ASHES


Readings: Gen 2:7; Gen 3:19; Job 42:6; Lk 10:13

Scripture:

“Therefore I retract all I have said, and in dust and ashes I repent,” Job 42:6

Reflection:

Much of life is “starting over”. The readings remind us to remember our earthly origins no matter how much we are tempted to forget them. Ashes serve as a plain reminder of human mortality which is a compelling reason to do penance. The ashes on Ash Wednesday come from the burning of palms from the previous Palm Sunday; the residue is crushed into a fine powder, and then applied to the forehead. We are truly “of the earth,” but we have been invited into close participation in God’s own life.

Daily Practice:

Take some time out today to consider how you would like to start over, to make these forty days a time of true conversion that will last well beyond the Lenten season.

Prayer:

Grant us o Lord the grace to let go of those things that separate us from you and each other, so that we may manifest your loving presence in our world.

Amen.

 

Friday 26th February


FASTING


Readings: Exodus 34:28; Joel 2:12-13; Acts 13:2; Lk 2:36; Matt 4:1

Scripture:

“Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity”. (Joel 2:12-13)

Reflection:

Fasting can be good for us when it is done in a proper context. Especially during Lent, we usually identify fasting with giving up something tangible like food and drink. But the hunger we feel in our stomachs reminds us of our more important hunger for the things of God. This Lent perhaps we might consciously fast from other intangibles, like how we respond and behave. Such as fasting from complaining and be grateful for our lives, fasting from anger, and be a forgiven and understanding person, a fast from noise in order to spend time in silent and prayer, fast from television in order to spend more time with families and friends. 

Daily Practice:

Think of what you might fast from that would free you to do something meaningful and enriching to yourself and people around you.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, by your grace, help us this lent to put aside the things that separate us from you and bring the joy and hope of your resurrection into our homes and hearts.

Amen.