The Word This Week

Every year, on the Second Sunday of Lent, we hear about the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain top.
Jesus revealed his glory to the three apostles in order to strengthen them for the journey ahead – the journey to Jerusalem, Gethsemane and Golgotha. The same vision is today offered to us, to strengthen us in our Lenten Journey of Faith. Last week we heard about temptation: this week we are driven onwards by a vision of glory that will be ours – the goal of our lives of faith and all that we do as Christians. The transfiguration represents the final destination of our lives, if we are faithful in resisting temptation and living each day as faithful members of Jesus Christ. In our journey of renewal and new commitment through Lent, we are spurred on and encouraged by today’s vision to see why the effort is worth it..

Today’s Scripture
Genesis 15: 5 – 12, 17 – 18;
Philippians 3: 17 – 4: 1;
Luke 9: 28 – 36

Easter Dates

Victory over the Grave by Bernard PlockhorstWhat is the point of Lent?The Great Three-Days of entry into Christ’s saving death-and-Resurrection.

To ensure we can all get there, we publish now the times and places of the Easter Triduum celebration (Three times, over Three days; only One service, starting on Maundy Thursday evening and finishing on Holy Saturday night: Don’t miss out!):

Maundy Thursday – Mass of Our Lord’s SUPPER – 7.30 pm
Good Friday – Celebration of Our Lord’s PASSION – 3.00 pm
Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil and Mass of Our Lord’s RESURRECTION – 8.30 pm
Easter Sunday – Easter Mass of Our Lord’s RESURRECTION – 10.00 am

Some Films for you to Contemplate over Lent

Here are a couple of videos we’d like to share view you from our Cafod Group.

Hungry for change campaign: Myths and realities about the global food system

Enough Food For Everyone IF


The Word This Week

As with each First Sunday of Lent the Gospel tells of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness; as we begin the journey of Lent, during which we will consider our lives as members of the Church, we look to the example of Jesus when it comes to dealing with temptation. Choosing to follow God’s path is the first characteristic of the Christian: this is underlined in the two other readings, which outline the two” creeds” or statements of belief – one of Israel and one of the Christian. Both of them emphasise “believing in the heart and confessing with the lips”: both creeds underline the Salvation that God has achieved – for Israel it was freedom from Egypt, for the Christian freedom from death in Jesus.

Deuteronomy 26: 4 – 10;
Romans 10: 8 – 13;
Luke 4: 1 – 13

Ash Wednesday in St Helen’s

Cross of AshesThis Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting and abstinence, and the beginning of the great and central double Season of Lent / Easter. As well as morning Mass with the distribution of Ashes (at the new time of 10am), we will also have a Service of the Word with the distribution of Ashes in the evening, at 7.00pm, to make it possible for us all to set out on this lenten journey of redirecting our lives back to God and preparing to enter again into the New Life of Christ through the Easter Pass-over.

Here is a Pastoral Letter Lent for 5th Sunday of the Year from Archbishop George Stack (Copies of the Archbishop’s letter for Lent are available in the porch in the church).

The 1st Deanery Lent Station Mass will be here in Saint Helen’s this Thursday, 14th February: the Bishop mentions the Station Masses as part of our Lenten discipline, an invitation to set out on the Journey to Easter with our Bishop and our neighbouring Parishes. We are hosts for the first: Let us give our guests a good welcome.

Did you know..?

  • Ash Wednesday falls 46 days before Easter.
  • Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice
  • The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense
  • Ash Wednesday can fall as early as February 4 or as late as March 10
  • This practice is common in much of Christendom, being celebrated by Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, , and some Baptist denominations
  • In the Catholic Church, ashes, being sacramentals, may be given to anyone who wishes to receive them, as opposed to Catholic sacraments, which are generally reserved for church members, except in cases of grave necessity
  • In the Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is observed by fasting, abstinence from meat, and repentance—a day of contemplating one’s transgressions
  • As the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday comes the day after Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the last day of the Carnival season.

(Source:  Catholic Online)

What Does the Bible Tell Us About the Way We Live?

year-of-faithThis Lent, as part of the Pope’s ‘Year of Faith’, we are invited to open up the Bible together: How do we use it? What questions does it ask of us? What would we like to ask of it? There is a box in the porch for any questions you would like to ask, or any suggestions of areas we could look at together. These may or may not be taken up on the Fridays of Lent, when we will have ‘Half an Hour with the Bible’ in the presbytery, at about 7.45pm, after the Way of the Cross.

The Word This Week

Last week, when Jesus spoke in the synagogue, his words pleased the crowd – as we hear at the beginning of today’s Gospel. How quickly the mood changes! This story shows very clearly that Jesus was not a “crowd-pleaser” – he wasn’t interested in saying the right things to be popular or accepted. He was interested in the truth – which is the basic definition of a prophet – whatever the personal cost. So today, when Jesus points out that salvation is not just for the Jews, or even just the people of Nazareth, they reject the
message and the messenger. Just like Jeremiah, when he was called to be a prophet (first reading), Jesus has to confront the land: they will fight with him, but not overcome him.

Jeremiah 1: 4 – 5, 17 – 19
1 Corinthians 12: 31 – 13: 13
Luke 4: 21 – 30.