Lenten Reflections

Easter Sunday

 

Darkness has been put to flight! Alleluia!

By the living Lord of light! Alleluia!

James Quinn SJ

 

 

 

Blue Resurrection by Arne Haugen Sørensen

 

 

Holy Saturday

 

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Where you there when they laid him in the tomb?

                     African-American Spiritual

 

 

El Paredon by Oswaldo Guayasamin

 

Good Friday

                                                  

All you who pass this way, look and see.

Lamentations 3

 

 

 

 

 

The Cry No. 3 by Oswaldo Guayasamin

 

 

 

Holy Thursday

 

May we who eat be bread for others;

may we who drink pour out our love.

 

Bread for the World     Bernadette Farrell

 

 

Last Supper by Margaret Ackland    

 

Palm Sunday

Maybe we can imagine what the donkey saw, heard and felt on that journey through Jerusalem: noisy crowds waving leafy branches and spreading their cloaks on his path – and imagine, too, what Jesus saw, heard, felt and anticipated … Sometimes we need to look at familiar scenes from a different angle in order to re-enter them.

What the Donkey Saw by U.A. Fanthorpe

No room in the inn, of course,
and not that much in the stable,
what with the shepherds, Magi, Mary,
Joseph, the heavenly host —
not to mention the baby
using our manger as a cot.
You couldn’t have squeezed another cherub in
for love nor money.
Still, in spite of the overcrowding,
I did my best to make them feel wanted.
I could see the baby and I
would be going places together.

 

Photo: The Jakarta Post

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Pictures of large cemeteries have filled our TV screens over the last year and the loss of a family member, friend, colleague or neighbour has been accentuated by socially-distanced burial rites.

Artist and poet, Jan Richardson, reflects on the truth that “when we suffer an agonizing loss, something of us goes into the grave. As we wrestle with our grief, we will be visited by questions about what new life waits for us. We will find ourselves faced with a choice: will we gather the graveclothes more tightly around ourselves, or will we respond to the voice of Christ, who stands at the threshold and calls us to come out? The choosing is not to be rushed.”

 

Fourth Sunday of Lent

In today’s first reading we hear of the walls of Jerusalem being torn down, its palaces set on fire and all its precious objects destroyed. As we know from watching the News, it is very distressing to see things aflame or damaged, seemingly beyond repair.  We are invited to reflect on our relationship with ‘things’, great and small.

Syria today

THINGS           Lisel Mueller

What happened is, we grew lonely
living among the things,
so we gave the clock a face,
the chair a back,
the table four stout legs
which will never suffer fatigue.

We fitted our shoes with tongues
as smooth as our own
and hung tongues inside bells
so we could listen
to their emotional language,

and because we loved graceful profiles
the pitcher received a lip,
the bottle a long, slender neck.

Even what was beyond us
was recast in our image;
we gave the country a heart,
the storm an eye,
the cave a mouth
so we could pass into safety.

 

Third Sunday of Lent

This week the images used in the readings remind us of place: the land and the temple. So many are still ‘sheltering in place’ because of the pandemic and all of us wonder what our world and our church will be like whenever it ends. The readings invite us to recognise that everything – our countries, our parishes, ourselves – are broken and fallen, weak and poor, while still being the dwelling place of God. This creates the freedom to love imperfect places and people!

 

Second Sunday of Lent

Last Sunday we were offered the image of the rainbow as a sign of God’s faithfulness. In today’s readings we are invited to climb mountains and see stars and sand and clouds: images of wonder, abundance and mystery and, again, of immeasurable love.

The sculptor, Rodin, challenges artists and all of us to let “our eyes plunge beneath the surface to the meaning of things [and explore] all the truth of nature, not only the exterior truth, but also, and above all, the inner truth”.

 

First Sunday of Lent

At the start of Lent we are offered the familiar reading from the Book of Genesis which reminds us of God’s promise:

Photo: Phil Darby

“I set my rainbow in the clouds to serve as a sign
of the covenant between me and the earth.”

This lovely symbol urges us to trust that God’s over-arching and stubborn love refuses to give up on us, as individuals and as a world community. It invites us to respond to opportunities to reconnect with love and justice, “a return to respecting limits, curbing the reckless pursuit of wealth and power, looking out for the poor and those living on the edges” – Pope Francis.

 

 

 

ASH WEDNESDAY

Recently, Damian Howard SJ described FRATELLI TUTTI as an encyclical

“for tumultuous times,
for a pandemic wrapped inside a financial crisis
encased in impending ecological catastrophe”.

The encyclical would make a good Lent book this year.



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