REFLECTIONS – extracts from THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY booklet with daily reflections for Lent.  

BEGINNING OF LENT February 14th. Ash Wednesday. The Morgans had made a commitment to meet as a family to pray and share and talk about the meaning of Lent. They reflected on the day and asked, “Why do so many people go to church on Ash Wednesday to get a blessing with ashes on their foreheads?  What does it really mean for them or is it to show off to others?   You do see people walking in the street with their ashes cross.  One time someone tried to wipe my forehead thinking I had picked up a bit of dirt”.  I wonder how we can celebrate Valentine’s Day combined with Ash Wednesday,” Jay asked. “Maybe we could focus on love and sacrifice together. That is real ubuntu stuff.”

The beginning of Lent is marked with the blessing and imposition of ashes.  The act of doing so symbolises our fragility and mortality as well as our need to be redeemed by the mercy of God. From the Missal.   Today harden not your hearts but listen to the voice of the Lord. Verse before the Gospel   Ps95:7. 

Pope Francis:  Lent is a time of mercy because no sinner can ever tire of asking forgiveness and all can feel the welcoming embrace of the Father.  MM 21

February 16th. Grandad took a turn to share.  “For me, I believe there are rights and obligations, duties and privileges that are good and appropriate at different times. A smile came over his face. “It is good to celebrate at a wedding.  Is that what Jesus meant?”  “Maybe, but also not quite so literally. Jesus loved using life-like examples and was speaking about himself you know.”  Grandad had the last word.  “But didn’t he love weddings too?”  They all laughed.

The disciples of John came to Jesus saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast but your disciples do not fast?”   Jesus said, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them and then they will fast.”  Matt 9:14-15.

Pope Francis: The journey of life that leads a man and a woman to meet one another, to love one another and to promise mutual fidelity before God is often interrupted by suffering, betrayal and loneliness. MM 14  

February 18th. Lent 1B.  Fr Joseph knew that the gospel for the 1st Sunday of Lent is about the temptation of Jesus.   “We’re all tempted by the devil but also by our own selfish inclinations.  We’re tempted in big and small things and need to reflect and see how we can change our ways. I would like you in your families to discuss this and some time during Lent  Catholics can prepare for Confession, but a moment for reconciliation at home, also with those who go to other churches, can even come before that.

 At that time the Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts and the angels ministered to him. From Mk 1:12-15

Pope Francis: For the woman caught in adultery in the gospel story, once clothed in mercy, even if the inclination to sin remains it is overcome by the love that makes it possible for her to look ahead and live differently. MM1

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