REFLECTION FOR THE SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A), Week beginning 19TH FEBRUARY 2023
Ash Wednesday, the opening day of the Holy Season of Lent, occurs in the coming week (February 22nd). On that morning, Mass will be in the school (9.15). Additionally, there is an evening Mass in the church (8.00).
It is not a Holy Day of Obligation but to attend either Mass is a most fitting way to commence this holy season of grace. At each of these Masses, we will humble ourselves before God when we accept ashes upon our foreheads – these will be given with one cotton bud per person.
Fridays of Lent: from this week, February 24th, and for the following 5 Fridays, Stations of the Cross will take place at 8pm. (On Good Friday, 7th April, it will be 7.30pm). The ‘Stations’ are stopping points, as we ‘journey’ with Jesus on His way up Mt. Calvary, and we do this in the ‘spiritual’ company of Our Blessed Lady – for we sing one verse of the ‘Stabat Mater’ (= ‘the Mother standing’) at the end of each ‘station’.
(These 14 verses enable us to empathise with our Mother, from our standpoint almost 2,000 years later. At the 12th ‘station’ we can recall Jesus from the Cross, commending Our Lady and St. John the Apostle to each other – and through John, Mary is commended to each of us, and each of us to her).
Lent: the word is an olde-English word which means SPRING. The weather severity during winter will vary year to year, but we all surely look forward to the dawn of Spring, to witness the much brighter evenings, the arrival of new lambs, the emergence and re-emergence of flowers etc. – nature springing into life.
In spiritual terms, in matters of our Faith, we know that Resurrection has to be preceded by the Cross. As it was for Jesus, so it will be for us. There is no other way, for He Himself is the Way. He alone, also, is the Truth and the Life.