Friday, 20 February 2015

1st Sunday in Lent

"Stay with us Lord on our Journey"


Masses this week:

Mon – No Mass                   Tues – 9.30am Mass

Wed – 12 noon Mass followed by packed lunch

Thurs – 18.30 Stations of the Cross followed by Mass (about 7pm)

Friday – 7.30am Mass followed by breakfast

(Friday is Family Fast Day)


Please remember in your prayers

Sick and housebound: Beth Tomlinson, Paul Hughes, Mary O'Connor, William Cornwell, Christopher McCready.

Stop And Choose

In the hustle and bustle of life, it is important to have the courage to stop and choose. The season of Lent serves this very purpose. During Mass at Santa Marta on Thursday morning, 19 February, Pope Francis placed emphasis on the need to ask those questions, important for Christian life and to know how to make the right choices.


The Pope explained that "at the beginning of the Lenten journey, the Church makes us reflect on the words of Moses and of Jesus: "You have to choose". It is thus a reflection on the need we all have, to make choices in life. Moses, is clear: 'See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil': choose". Indeed "the Lord gave us freedom, the freedom to love, to walk on his streets". We are free and we can choose. However, the Pope indicated, "it's not easy to choose". It's more comfortable "to live by letting ourselves be carried by the inertia of life, of situations, of habits". This is why "today the Church tells us: 'You are responsible; you have to choose'". And thus the Pontiff raised some questions: "Have you chosen? How do you live? What is your lifestyle, your way of living, like? Is it on the side of life or on the side of death?"

Returning to the difficulty of choosing, Francis said he was aware that "we always have this habit of going where the people go, somewhat like everyone". But, he continued, "today the Church is telling us: 'stop and choose'. It's good advice. And today", the Pope continued, "it will do us good to stop during the day and think: what is my lifestyle like? Which road am I taking?"

After all, in everyday life we tend to take the opposite approach. Many times, he said, "we live in a rush, we're on the run, without noticing what the path is like; and we let ourselves be carried along by the needs, by the necessities of the days, but without thinking". And thus came the invitation to stop: "Begin Lent like this, with small questions that will help one to consider: 'What is my life like?'". The first thing to ask ourselves is: "who is God for me? Do I choose the Lord? How is my relationship with Jesus?" And the second: "How is your relationship with your family: with your parents; with your siblings; with your wife; with your husband; with your children?"

The Pontiff then asked "why do we hurry so much in life, without knowing which path we are on?" He was explicit about this: "because we want to win, we want to earn, we want to be successful". But Jesus makes us think: "What advantage does a man have who wins the whole world, but loses or destroys himself?" Indeed, "the wrong road is that of always seeking success, one's own riches, without thinking about the Lord, without thinking about family".

And to emphasize the concept, Francis explained that "it will do us good to stop for a bit — five, ten minutes — and ask ourselves the question: what is the speed of my life? Do I reflect on my actions? How is my relationship with God and with my family?". The Pope indicated that we can find help in "that really beautiful advice of the Psalm: 'Blessed are they who trust in the Lord'". And "when the Lord gives us this advice — 'Stop! Choose today, choose' — He doesn't leave us on our own; He is with us and wants to help us". And we, for our part, need "only to trust, to have faith in Him".

 "Today, at the moment in which we stop to think about these things and to take decisions, to choose something, we know that the Lord is with us, is beside us, to help us. He never lets us go alone. He is always with us. Even in the moment of choosing, let us have faith in this Lord, who is with us, and when He tells us: 'choose between good and evil' helps us to choose good". And above all "let us ask Him for the grace to be courageous", because "it takes a bit of courage" to "stop and ask myself how I am before God, how my relationships with family are, what I have to change, what I have to choose. And", Francis guaranteed, "He is with us".