Thursday 6 March 2014

Jesus in the desert

Readings for Thursday 6 March 2014 (Thursday after Ash Wednesday) 
Deut 30:15-20. Ps 1:1-4, 6, R/ Ps 39:5. Lk 9:22-25.

Today we are called to make a choice, a choice between life and death. ‘Let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light, that having sailed across the great sea of the Fast, we may reach, on the third day, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savious of our Souls’ (Byzantine vespers).

Pope Francis’ message for Lent 2014
“In imitation of our Master, we Christians are called to confront the poverty of our brothers and sisters, to touch it, to make it our own and to take practical steps to alleviate it. Destitution is not the same as poverty: destitution is poverty without faith, without support, without hope. There are three types of destitution: material, moral and spiritual. Material destitution is what is normally called poverty, and affects those living in conditions opposed to human dignity: those who lack basic rights and needs such as food, water, hygiene, work and the opportunity to develop and grow culturally. In response to this destitution, the Church offers her help, her diakonia, in meeting these needs and binding these wounds which disfigure the face of humanity. In the poor and outcast we see Christ’s face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ. Our efforts are also directed to ending violations of human dignity, discrimination and abuse in the world, for these are so often the cause of destitution. When power, luxury and money become idols, they take priority over the need for a fair distribution of wealth. Our consciences thus need to be converted to justice, equality, simplicity and sharing.”

To read the full text of Pope Francis’ message for Lent 2014 please click here.

Pope Francis speaking at his general audience on Ash Wednesday gave those in attendance a task saying:  “homework for today: have you taught your kids how to make the sign of the cross, pray the Our Father, Hail Mary? These things are necessary!”.

children praying

Archbishop Eamon Martin on Twitter: Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return.                      Follow Archbishop Eamon on Twitter at @ArchbishopEamon 

Homily notes of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for Mass for Ash Wednesday
“Lent is not a period of negative renunciation.  It is a moment in which we can better discern what is essential and what is superficial and what is actually deviant.  In that sense the recognition that we are dust is not deprecatory; it is something that leads us paradoxically to recognise where we truly find greatness and meaning and purpose.  Lent offers us the instruments of prayer, fasting and works of charity that help us to repent and follow the Gospel.  In Lent we journey with Jesus as his self-giving love leads to his death, knowing however that it is the same love which ultimately opens then the real key to hope which is resurrection.” – Archbishop Martin

Click here to read the full homily notes.

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.

Enestina Muyeye (9) from Malawi who features on the Trocaire Lenten box

Nine year old Enestina Muyeye (pictured above), the young girl featured on this year’s Trócaire box, comes from a small rural community in Dedza, central Malawi. Enestina’s community has relied for years on a contaminated river for drinking water, washing and irrigation. Trócaire, working in partnership with the Catholic Church in Malawi, has recently installed a drinking water pump and is working to support people in this strong and vibrant community as they strive to improve their lives.

Across the developing world Trócaire is addressing the serious impact of water scarcity by helping people to access safe water for drinking, sanitation and irrigation. This work is made possible through the generous support of parishes across Ireland, which is greatly appreciated.

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 Prayer
O God, author of every mercy and of all goodness
who in fasting, praying and almsgiving
have shown us a remedy for sin,
look graciously on this confession of our lowliness,
that we, who are bowed down by our conscience,
may always be lifted up by your mercy.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the
Holy Spirit
one God, for ever and ever.


(Collect, Roman Missal, 3rd edition)

Living Lent 2014 
A resource from the Archdiocese of Dublin’s office for Evangelisation on praying with scripture and Pope Francis during Lent. Click here for the resource.


Services and Events for Lent 2014 
Belfast Lenten Talks 2014

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.