Message from Fr. Con

REFLECTION FOR 8TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C), Week beginning 27 February 2022

This coming week features ASH WEDNESDAY on 2nd March – the opening day of the Holy Season of Lent.
‘Lent’ is an old-English word for the season of Spring. It lasts for 40 days, and so will conclude on 10th April (Palm Sunday).
It is a season of great grace, founded upon the 40 days and nights Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness, immediately after his Baptism.
Lent, therefore, brings into sharp focus for us the great day of our individual Baptism – great, in that it was the day when the mark of Original Sin, passed down from Adam and Eve, was removed from our individual soul.
Jesus, of course, as the Only Begotten Son of God, scarcely required the water-only Baptism from John the Baptist. Humbly, He so submitted to it, to show how vital it is for us, and to enable there to be a revelation of the Most Holy Trinity at the river Jordan on that day. (Sacred Scripture informs us that Jesus Himself did some baptizing – the difference being that He baptised with the Holy Spirit, unlike John the Baptist who emphasised that truth so clearly).
Jesus, being fully human as well as fully divine, had to be subjected to temptation – so He was impelled by the Holy Spirit to wilderness isolation where He underwent 3 powerful temptations in those 40 days.
Temptation, of course, is ‘part and parcel’ of the human condition. It is not sin and will only become sin, if and when we are in possession of all our faculties and give in to the temptation.
On Ash Wednesday we humbly admit our inclination to sin, by accepting ashes upon our foreheads. This takes place at Mass, but it is not a Holy Day of Obligation. Yet, it is a most fitting day to attend Mass.