Friday 28 March 2014

Readings for Friday 28 March 2014
Hos 14:2-10. Ps 80:6, 8-11, 14, 17, R/ vv 9, 11. Mk 12:28-34.

keeping a holy lent

Pope Francis’ message for Lent 2014
“He became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich (cf. 2 Cor 8:9)”

“So what is this poverty by which Christ frees us and enriches us? It is his way of loving us, his way of being our neighbour, just as the Good Samaritan was neighbour to the man left half dead by the side of the road (cf. Lk 10:25ff). What gives us true freedom, true salvation and true happiness is the compassion, tenderness and solidarity of his love. Christ’s poverty which enriches us is his taking flesh and bearing our weaknesses and sins as an expression of God’s infinite mercy to us. Christ’s poverty is the greatest treasure of all: Jesus’ wealth is that of his boundless confidence in God the Father, his constant trust, his desire always and only to do the Father’s will and give glory to him. Jesus is rich in the same way as a child who feels loved and who loves its parents, without doubting their love and tenderness for an instant. Jesus’ wealth lies in his being the Son; his unique relationship with the Father is the sovereign prerogative of this Messiah who is poor. When Jesus asks us to take up his “yoke which is easy”, he asks us to be enriched by his “poverty which is rich” and his “richness which is poor”, to share his filial and fraternal Spirit, to become sons and daughters in the Son, brothers and sisters in the firstborn brother (cf. Rom 8:29).

“It has been said that the only real regret lies in not being a saint (L. Bloy); we could also say that there is only one real kind of poverty: not living as children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ.” – Pope Francis

To read the full text of Pope Francis’ message for Lent 2014 please see

Pope on Twitter

Pope Francis on Twitter
“Lent is a time of grace, a time to convert and live out our baptism fully.” Follow Pope Francis on Twitter @Pontifex.

Friday Penance During Lent

fasting 2

Penance arises from the Lord’s call to conversion and repentance and is an essential part of all genuine Christian living:

  • in memory of the passion and death of the Lord
  • as a sharing in Christ’s suffering
  • as an expression of inner conversion
  • as a form of reparation for sin

Declaring some days throughout the year as days of fast and abstinence (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) is meant to intensify penances of the Christian. Lent is the traditional season for renewal and penance but Catholics also observe each Friday of the year as days of penance. The link between Friday and penance is extremely ancient and is even reflected in the Irish word for Friday – An Aoine (the fast).”

Some suggestions on observing Friday Penance during Lent are:

(i) Make a special effort at family prayer
(ii) Make the Stations of the Cross
(iii) Do something to help the poor, sick or lonely
(iv) Make a special effort to avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation
(v) Abstain from meat or some other food.

Stations of the Cross

Click on for the Stations of the Cross with Father Paul Clayton Lea from the Archdiocese of Armagh.

Theme of Trócaire’s Lenten Campaign 2014 – ‘Water’
This year’s Trócaire Lenten campaign is about the global water crisis. There are 1.1 billion people in our world who are living without access to a reliable source of water.

To find out more about Trócaire’s Lenten campaign visit and please bring home a Trócaire box this Lent.

Lent trocaire box image

Daily Lenten Prayers

(i) We pray for our dead.
We pray also for the 3.4 million people who die each year
from water-related diseases.
May the Lord grant them eternal rest.

(ii) Prayer for a Widow or Widower
Those whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we are.
St John Chrysostom

Sacred Space Online Prayer
Sacred Space invites you to make a ‘Sacred Space’ in your day, praying here and now, as you visit their website, with the help of scripture chosen every day and on-screen guidance. For more information see

Resources on the Vatican website for Lent 2014
The Vatican is collating all the resources for Lent 2014 on a special link on the home page of It includes the catechesis, addresses and homilies of the Holy Father, information on liturgical events and video and other multimedia content. Click here to access it.

The Meaning of Lent
The English word ‘Lent’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Lencten, meaning ‘Spring’. In other languages the word comes from the Latin, Quadragesima – a period of 40 days. In the Christian tradition the forty days is understood to refer to a time of intense prayer and preparation; we remember the biblical stories of Noah and the flood of 40 days, the forty years the Israelites spent wandering in the wilderness and Christ’s forty day fast in the desert in preparation for his earthly ministry.

The IEC provides external links as convenience to our users. The appearance of external links does not constitute endorsement by IEC of the information, products or services contained therein.