Reflections. Extracts from Family Thoughts for the Day March.

March  6. Ash Wednesday. The whole school, whether they were Catholic or not went to get their ashes on their foreheads.  “Why do you do this?” the RE teacher asked the class. “Dunno.” “We just do it every year.” “It’s tradition and then we all give up something during Lent, but we’re not really supposed to tell,“ one Grade 6 girl said.  “That is the penance part, but we can also take up some extra sacrifice that really challenges one’s willpower. The ashes are a reminder that it is time to pull up our socks.  God is kind and forgives our faults.  Jesus tells us and shows us how.

Even now return to me with all your heart, with fasting with weeping and with mourning and tear your hearts and not your garments” says the Lord. Joel 2:12 .”  

Pope Francis says, “Jesus is the face of the Father’s mercy.  Let us contemplate it every day.” MV1. (See a list of Acts of Mercy and Sacrifice  www.marfam.org.za/lenten-calendar-acts-of-love-and-sacrifice/

March 7.  “Road rage is a horrible thing but surely it is so often brought on by someone breaking the law, or being selfish in the traffic,” Mohale said.  ”Taxis are the worst on the road,” Gordon added.  Joyce said, “The recent load shedding that we have been faced with has messed up the traffic flow, multiplied our anger and frustration and the accident rate on the roads no end.  Where is the evil in all that and how can I deal with the situation in the most “life-giving” way. “

Moses said, “see I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil.  If you obey the commandments, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments then you shall live.   From Deut 30:15-20  

Pope Francis: Let us say to the Lord, “I am angry with this person. I pray to you for him. To pray for a person with whom I am irritated is a beautiful step forward in love, an act of evangelisation.  Let us do it today. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the ideal of fraternal love.  EG 101

March  10. Sunday  Lent1C.  Fr Oliver asked the altar servers, “I know you have been studying about temptation.  What was Jesus being tempted to do?  Mpumi knew the three temptations, “turn stones into bread, worship the devil and test God to protect him.”   “Yes, but what is behind those and how do they apply to us?” Fr continued.  “Could there be temptations to want power, material, political or religious power, even making them into idols, that is worshipping the devil too?   I think you need to go and discuss this more at home and think about our own reality with the elections coming up.”

The devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world and said, I will give you all this authority and glory to you if you will worship me.” Luke 4:1-13.  Pope Francis: The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money.  Man is reduced to one of his needs alone, consumption.  EG 56    

March  11.   Therese was thinking, “There is a lot about laws and rules in the Old Testament isn’t there, especially the book of Leviticus?  But maybe that is suitable for Lent to get us to do some looking into our own sins. How many grudges do I bear and how many grudges are against those close to me?  Sometimes recognising their rights when I don’t agree is the hardest thing of all. I wonder why?

You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself. Lev 19:11-18.

Pope Francis:   We cannot forget that mercy is not only the working of the Father, it becomes a criterion for knowing who his true children are. We are called to show mercy because mercy was first shown to us. AL 310

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