Readings for Saturday 22 March 2014
Mic 7:14-15, 18-20. Ps 102:1-4, 9-12, R/ v 8. Lk 15:1-3, 11.32. www.catholicbishops.ie/readings.
In the story of the father welcoming back his son, Jesus shows us in a very human way that we can be like that.
Catechumens, now the elect, asking for the three sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil, take part in the Scrutinies, celebrated on the third, fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent. The scrutinies are meant to uncover, then heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful in the hearts of the elect; to bring out, then strengthen all that is upright, strong and good. For the scrutinies are celebrated in order to deliver the elect from the power of sin and Satan, to protect them against temptation, and to give them strength in Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life. These rites, therefore, should complete the conversion of the elect and deepen their resolve to hold fast to Christ and to carry our their decision to love God above all. RCIA, 128.
“Our Lady is always close to us, especially when we feel the weight of life with all its problems.”
Follow Pope Francis on Twitter @Pontifex.
Excerpt from Evangelii Gaudium The Joy of the Gospel
“Sometimes we are tempted to find excuses and complain, acting as if we could only be happy if a thousand conditions were met. To some extent this is because our “technological society has succeeded in multiplying occasions of pleasure, yet has found it very difficult to engender joy”. I can say that the most beautiful and natural expressions of joy which I have seen in my life were in poor people who had little to hold on to. I also think of the real joy shown by others who, even amid pressing professional obligations, were able to preserve, in detachment and simplicity, a heart full of faith. In their own way, all these instances of joy flow from the infinite love of God, who has revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ. I never tire of repeating those words of Benedict XVI which take us to the very heart of the Gospel: “Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction”..” – Evangelii Gaudium 7
Video: Bishop Donal McKeown on Lent
Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop-elect of Derry Diocese reflects on our scripture companions for Lent.
Click here for video.
Daily Lenten Prayers
(i) We pray that Ireland and its people
may always treasure their Christian heritage.
(ii) We pray for all who are preparing for Baptism this Easter;
may this season of Lent be a time of purification and enlightenment for them
and for those who journey with them.
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.