A Message For Your Lent Journey


#LiveLent reflections:

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Read - John 11.28-37


Mary expresses her sorrow in the same words as her sister: ‘if you had been here, Lord… ’. She is heartbroken and cannot understand why Jesus did not come earlier.

She weeps. Jesus is ‘deeply moved’ and ‘greatly distressed’. Jesus weeps.

Jesus has no words for Mary. There is no invitation to trust as there was for Martha. Simply Jesus’ own tears from his broken heart.

His tears and pain take him to the grave of Lazarus, and deeply moved by his own grief and that of those around him Jesus cries out. He calls Lazarus out of the tomb.



Take time today to reflect on times of disappointment or bereavement you have been through? Where was God in these? How did he make his presence known?



Pray for people who are broken-hearted and disappointed, for those who are at a loss or without hope. Pray for resurrection.



Make time today to notice the sadness of another, and be moved by it. Let that grief you feel enable you to cry out to God for them.



LIVE LENT REFLECTIONS DAY 30 -  I am the Resurrection 

Read - John 11.17-27



Jesus hears that his friend Lazarus is seriously ill. Strangely he doesn’t rush to be with Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary, though they are close and deeply loved friends.

When he finally arrives, Lazarus is dead and has been buried for four days.

In her grief, and confusion about Jesus’ absence, Martha expresses a tentative faith in God and a hope in life after death.

Jesus invites her to take a step of personal trust in him. ‘I am the resurrection and the life… Do you believe this?’ he asks. ‘Yes, Lord, I believe,’ she replies.



Think about your faith. What tests it? What strengthens it? How does your faith deepen and grow into a personal trust in Christ?



Be still, be silent and, as you are able, pray with Martha: ‘Yes, Lord, I believe.’ Pray for all who in grief today reach out to God in faith and hope.



Make time today for resurrection — a word, a bunch of flowers, a prayer, a visit. Offer comfort in sadness and point to Christ the source of all hope and life.





Read - John 10.22-30


The good shepherd protects and provides. The good shepherd invests his own life in the sheep. The good shepherd knows the sheep, and is known by them.

In the end, that is our deepest need and greatest joy: to know and, even more, to be known.

It’s what we all search for. It’s a gift we can give each other. It’s the gift of God in Christ. To know and to be known, by love and in love, eternally.

We know Christ as we follow Christ. As we follow Christ we know Christ. It’s gift and it’s calling. It’s a journey which leads us, with Christ, through death to life.




Who knows you well? What does it mean for you to be known, accepted and loved? What enables you to let yourself be seen, and known, and loved?



Find a place today where you can be still and silent … and realise that God knows and loves you. Then pray the same for others.



Refuse shallow judgements or labels, and get to know someone today, there’s no short cut to sharing God’s love.



LIVE LENT REFLECTIONS DAY 28 -  I am the Good Shepherd

Read - John 10.11-18


I am, Jesus says, for the fourth time. A good shepherd cares for his sheep because he has invested his life in them, unlike the one merely hired to look after them.

He knows his sheep and they know him. His care is personal, based on a relationship of love and trust.

The Good Shepherd will do anything for their protection and well-being, even giving his own life.

It’s a poignant, powerful image which begins to point us to Holy Week and the journey the Good Shepherd takes for his sheep.



In what do you invest your life? For what or whom would you lay down your life? Christ laid down his life for you – what, then, is your value?



Invest a little time in silence and solitude today and let God speak to you about your true worth. Pray for those who look to you to shepherd them.



Make time today to care for someone, friend or stranger, with tenderness and goodness. Invest your love and time in them.




Read - John 10.10


At the centre of the Gospel of John is this verse that goes to the heart of the Good News of Jesus.

Jesus is Good News for the world and for your friends because he came to enable all people to have life, not just some and not just a half-life. Abundant life. For all.

Jesus’ most strongly worded conversations were with religious leaders. Too often the effect of their teaching and demands on others was to stifle, restrict and burden.

This angered Jesus because that religious expression misrepresented God whose deepest desire for us, and his great gift to us, is life. Life in all its fullness.



Take time today...to consider the things that restrict you and prevent you from living life to the full. What is their root and what is their effect?



Ask God to help you to be free to live his abundant life. Pray for those you know whose lives are burdened or restricted, or who struggle to receive God’s gift of life.



Make time today for a bit of joyful extravagance! Live life to the full. Perhaps have a party, invite some friends and perhaps even some you don’t yet know well.




Read - John 10.1-9


I am, Jesus says, for the third time. A shepherd guards the entrance to the sheep fold. My body is the door. I am the gate.

It’s an image of protection; there is safety to be found in Jesus.
It’s an image of provision, there is nourishment to be found through Jesus.

It’s an image of personal, costly commitment.

Jesus the gate, like the mothers we celebrate today, protects and provides for us with love that is willing to put itself between us and danger.




What or who offers you security? Where does your life find its nourishment? How would you say Jesus meets these needs in you?



Pray for all who do not know today the love and protection of a mother or another carer. Pray for those God has given you to guard and provide for.



Make time today for the most vulnerable people in society: refugees, homeless people, the exploited, the very young, the old. Do something practical.



Read - John 9.1-12


This week’s reflections have centred on aspects of being set free. Anger, fear and sin giving way to light, truth, love and forgiveness.

For John, the great theme is sight. What makes us spiritually ‘blind’ and who enables us to see? What pushes us to live in darkness and who brings us into the light?

It is brought together in this story of the man who had been blind from birth, and the ensuing debate between Jesus and the religious leaders.

The blind man, unnoticed and ignored by many, is seen by Jesus. With mud and water, through touch and love, by the power of God, Jesus heals him.

He sees. We see.



What blind spots are there in your life? What might the light of Christ enable and encourage you to see?



Ask God to help you see, more clearly, the beauty and the needs around you, and the goodness and the muddle within you, and God in it all.



Make time today to see someone, or a tricky situation, in a new way. Let God use that new perspective to help you make a difference.



Read - John 8.34-38


Whatever words we might use to describe it and however we would understand it, we would probably all agree that sin ties us up.

It is true personally and corporately. It’s the effect we see of wrong actions, words, and attitudes whether lies, greed, oppression or fear. Sin damages, destroys and imprisons.

‘Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin,’ says Jesus. Our slavery to sin has a massive effect on those around us, on people elsewhere in the world and on the fragile creation in which we live.

The truth and love, the life and death, of Jesus sets us free from the power of sin to tie us up. That freedom comes as we take hold of God’s gift of forgiveness.



Take some time today to think about the effect of sin in your life and on those you love or work with. Ask God’s forgiveness. Ask for strength to put things right.



Pray for all those whose lives are damaged by sin, either their own or others’. Pray that Christ would set them free.



Give a gift – by offering forgiveness, or by receiving forgiveness. Let that gift unlock your heart as well.










What Should I Do For Lent?     

Pope Francis' 10 Tips


Every year Catholics try to answer the age old question: What should I do for Lent? Well, who better to pick for as your Lenten spiritual director than Pope Francis? He has some great ideas for you! 

Here we selected 10 of his best tips:


1.  Get rid of the lazy addiction to evil

“[Lent] is a ‘powerful’ season, a turning point that can foster change and conversion in each of us. We all need to improve, to change for the better. Lent helps us and thus we leave behind old habits and the lazy addiction to the evil that deceives and ensnares us.” – General Audience, March 5, 2014


2.  Do something that hurts

“Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.” – Lenten Message, 2014


3.  Don’t remain indifferent

“Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience. God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation.” –Lenten Message, 2015


4.  Pray: Make our hearts like yours!

“During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: ‘Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum’Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.” – Lenten Message, 2015


5.  Take part in the sacraments

“Lent is a favorable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him. This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. There we become what we receive: the Body of Christ.” – Lenten Message, 2015


6.  Prayer

“In the face of so many wounds that hurt us and could harden our hearts, we are called to dive into the sea of prayer, which is the sea of God’s boundless love, to taste his tenderness. Lent is a time of prayer, of more intense prayer, more prolonged, more assiduous, more able to take on the needs of the brethren; intercessory prayer, to intercede before God for the many situations of poverty and suffering.” – Homily, March 5, 2014


7.  Fasting

We must be careful not to practice a formal fast, or one which in truth ‘satisfies’ us because it makes us feel good about ourselves. Fasting makes sense if it questions our security, and if it also leads to some benefit for others, if it helps us to cultivate the style of the Good Samaritan, who bends down to his brother in need and takes care of him.” – Homily, March 5, 2014

"Fasting makes sense if it questions our security..." - Pope Francis


8.  Almsgiving

“Today gratuitousness is often not part of daily life where everything is bought and sold. Everything is calculated and measured. Almsgiving helps us to experience giving freely, which leads to freedom from the obsession of possessing, from the fear of losing what we have, from the sadness of one who does not wish to share his wealth with others.” – Homily, March 5, 2014


9.  Help the Poor

“In the poor and outcast we see Christ’s face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ. Our efforts are also directed to ending violations of human dignity, discrimination and abuse in the world, for these are so often the cause of destitution. When power, luxury and money become idols, they take priority over the need for a fair distribution of wealth. Our consciences thus need to be converted to justice, equality, simplicity and sharing.” – Lenten Message, 2014


10.  Evangelize

“The Lord asks us to be joyous heralds of this message of mercy and hope! It is thrilling to experience the joy of spreading this good news, sharing the treasure entrusted to us, consoling broken hearts and offering hope to our brothers and sisters experiencing darkness.” – Lenten Message, 2014


You probably won’t be able to take huge steps forward in all of these areas. Instead, pick a couple that stand out to you and try to find practical ways to grow in your love of God and your love of your neighbor.






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Page last updated: Friday March 16th 2018 4:41 PM