Friday 21 March 2014

jesus in the desert 2

Readings for Friday 21 March 2014 
Gn 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28. Ps 104:16-21, R/ v 5. Mt 21:33-43, 45-46.

Joseph is sold into slavery for twenty pieces of silver. The servants in the vineyard kill the heir. Jesus, the Son of God, is also sold and sent to death. But the stone rejected becomes the cornerstone.

Optional memorial today of Saint Enda, abbot
Saint Enda is considered to be one of the three great late vocations (athlaech) of Ireland. His sister, Faenche, a nun, set his thoughts on a religios vocation. He made a small foundation in Cell Aine, County Louth and, after studies in Scotland under Ninian, made several foundations in the Boyne Valley. On Faenche’s urging he went to Aran. He died probably in 520 and is considered as one of the early models of ascetic monasticism in Ireland.

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

pope profile

“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 click here.

Pope Francis on Twitter
“Our deepest joy comes from Christ: remaining with him, walking with him, being his disciples. ”

Friday Penance During Lent 
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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

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Click here 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) We pray for peace in our world;
may our hearts be transformed
so that each one of us may be a maker of peace.

cross of christ 1

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.

face of christ

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.