Season of Lent (b)

This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.

Season of Lent. (B)
Sunday 4th March: Second Sunday of Lent. (B) The first reading today, from the Book of Genesis, shows the depth of Abraham’s faith in God. Living among the Canaanites who practised human sacrifice, we read of his agonising effort to do what he thought God wanted of him. His great faith is rewarded.
The second reading, from the Letter to the Romans, speaks of the depths of God’s love for each one of us. God did not even spare his own Son, but sacrificed him for us.
In the Gospel, from St. Mark, we read of his account of the Transfiguration. On Mount Tabor, the three apostles are given a glimpse of the glory that is Jesus’ as the Son of God. Elijah and Moses appear also, Moses representing the law, Elijah the prophets. Jesus is the one who brings the law and the prophets to fulfilment.

Monday 5th March: Monday in the second week of Lent.
Acknowledging sin, being sorry for it and seeking forgiveness is a reality that can only exist where there is genuine friendship and the awareness that this friendship has been hurt or even destroyed. Without friendship with God and with people, sin remains only a thing to be wiped off, sorrow is little more than a superficial regretting of something that should not have happened and forgiveness is erasure of the past. Sin, sorrow and pardon must be seen in the light of the covenant relationship with an all merciful God who loved us first; with our neighbour with whom we are taken up in this union of life and love with God.

Tuesday 6th March: Tuesday in the second week of Lent.
When we know our faith and practice our religious duties and observances, when we go to Mass and the sacraments and practice penance during Lent – are we good Christians? Only if our heart is in what we do can we say yes. If we act as we believe and do what we say – we can say yes. If our faith affects our everyday living and our relations with our neighbour – then we can say yes. If we are playing our part in the building up of the Kingdom of God – then we can say yes. Otherwise, our faith and our lives are hypocritical.

Wednesday 7th March: Wednesday in the second week of Lent
A prophet is always an annoying person. His mission is to call attention to the signs of the times – to denounce what needs to be denounced; to prod into action when apathy is the norm. His task is unpleasant and unpopular. He may even be killed. That was the lot of the prophets before Jesus and of Jesus himself. Through his death, however he wins glory and brings life to us all. Those who follow him have to share in this life. They must learn to serve and that may have to suffer and even die.

Thursday 8th March: Thursday in the second week of Lent.
Those who place their faith in themselves and in the means they possess are not open to God or to his Kingdom. They adore the Golden Calf and their own gods. They fail to see the needs of those around them. That is why God condemns them. We must learn to see the unspoken needs of those who dare not voice their poverty or their distress.

Friday 9th March: Friday in the second week of Lent.
Joseph suffered because his brothers were jealous. Yet later he would save them from famine. Jesus was rejected and dies for our sins. In doing this, he becomes the keystone for a new kingdom, for the life of all. And what about us? We want the good things without paying the price. It can be too uncomfortable, too painful to put things into practice unless we are forced to by circumstances.

Saturday 10th March: Feast of St. John Ogilvie
John Ogilvie was born near Keith and was brought up as a Calvinist. After being received into the Catholic Church, he became a Jesuit priest. He worked in Edinburgh and Glasgow, often underground for fear of his safety, bringing many to a knowledge of the Catholic faith. He was eventually betrayed, imprisoned, tortured and hanged in Glasgow in 1615.

O Christ Jesus,when all is darkness
And we feel our weakness and helplessness
Give us Your presence,
Your love and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
In Your protecting love
And strengthening power
So that nothing may frighten or worry us
For, living close to You, we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.
(St. Ignatius)