Lenten Reflections


Tonight, for so many of us, there will be no ceremonial washing of the feet, no solemn proclamation of the gospel. But in hospitals, homes, hostels and shelters, all over the world, washing, anointing, consoling, supporting, giving tender and urgent care is happening. We are celebrating the liturgy of Life as we do what we can to put into practice the lessons of love from the One who loved us to the uttermost. John 13:1


“Great crowds were shouting ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’

Not today! No palms, no crowds to hear the priest say “For five weeks of Lent we have been preparing for the celebration of Our Lord’s paschal mystery,” because for weeks we have been enduring the pandemic caused by the coronavirus.

But this time is for us all a passage through death to life. Wherever we are: self-isolated, trying to keep our families safe and fed, providing care, lonely, worried, we are truly “following him. United with him in his suffering on the cross, may we share his resurrection and new life.”


Honey bees, butterflies, tigers, puffins, turtle doves, dolphins, gorillas, corals, juniper, whitebeam, lady orchid. So many living creatures whose lives are in danger of extinction! So many of our unknown brothers and sisters, women, children and men, whose lives are forfeit because of the way we are living now! Does this disturb you? Is it any wonder that when faced with death and decay “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)



“I am the light of the world” (John 9: 5) Ask today for our blind eyes to be opened so that we can share the Gaze of Jesus? (Laudato Si 76) “Look at the birds in the sky…the flowers growing in the fields…” (Matthew 6:26) Let’s experience the Gift of Creation, so that we can then see what we are failing to see or even deny, how “our common home is falling into serious disrepair.” (Laudato Si 61)



Today we meet the thirsty Jesus: “Give me a drink” (John 4:7) It was only a drink of water. So basic. So simple. Yet in this amazingly developed world of ours, of instant global communication, commerce, trade, economic and political negotiations, 2.2 billion people still lack access to safe drinking water whilst 2.5 billion gallons of water are used daily on golf courses! Such thirst! Such injustice! “Give me a drink” indeed.



The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth” (Laudato Si 21). Today, when you hear the gospel story of the Transfiguration and the call to “Listen to him”(Matthew 17), let it invite you to that transformation, that ecological conversion we need to make in our own lives to care for our common home.


Do you like being labelled a consumer with algorithms controlling your appetites and desires? What secret idols are you worshipping? “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil”. So are we! It’s time to journey afresh with Jesus, time for metanoia, time for change!



Ashes; bush fires; Amazon ablaze; burning fossil fuels. Can’t you hear the cry of the Earth? As you are Cross-marked with the blessed ashes today, what will you commit to for the healing of our common home?

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