Readings for Monday 31 March 2014 (4th Week of Lent)
Is 65:17-21. Ps 29:2, 4-6, 11-13, R/ v 2. Jn 4:43-54. www.catholicbishops.ie/readings.
The echoes of an ancient, shorter Lent are still found in the semi-continuous reading of Saint John’s Gospel beginning today. The hope expressed in Jesus’ words, ‘Your son will live’ is the desire of all who are coming from sin to forgiveness, from death to new life, in Baptism and Reconciliation.
“We live in a society that leaves no room for God; day by day this numbs our hearts.”
Follow Pope Francis on Twitter @Pontifex.
Excerpt from Evangelii Gaudium The Joy of the Gospel
“A Church which “goes forth” is a Church whose doors are open. Going out to others in order to reach the fringes of humanity does not mean rushing out aimlessly into the world. Often it is better simply to slow down, to put aside our eagerness in order to see and listen to others, to stop rushing from one thing to another and to remain with someone who has faltered along the way. At times we have to be like the father of the prodigal son, who always keeps his door open so that when the son returns, he can readily pass through it..” – Evangelii Gaudium 46.
Bishop Philip Boyce, Pastoral Letter for Lent 2014
Click here to read the full text of Bishop Boyce’s Pastoral Letter for Lent 2014 on the theme ‘Christ’s poverty is the greatest treasure of all’.
Daily Lenten Prayers
(i) We pray that those who have travelled from other lands
to make Ireland their home may be warmly welcomes
into our communities and may enrich us
with their presence and their gifts.
(ii) A Family Prayer
God our Father,
your Son, Jesus Christ,
is our Way, our Truth and our Life.
His way of being human shapes our
understanding of the human person and
of human relationships of every kind.
In a special way it shapes our
understanding of ourselves as a family.
Trying to live as Jesus lived –
respectful, forgiving, helpful and
caring towards one another –
is a daily challenge to every person
in this family of ours.
We are in constant need of your
forgiveness and help. May your
Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Jesus
himself – bind us together in love.
Together, as a family, may me face with
hope and confidence whatever suffering or
sorrow may come our way.
May our hearts be ever open to the needs
of other families and individuals
everywhere in our world.
We make this prayer through
Christ our Lord.
(Source: Diocese of Elphin)
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 www.vatican.va. 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.