Message from Fr. Con


This Sunday opens the fortnight of Passiontide. We are 14 days away from the great solemn feast of Easter Sunday.

Colloquially speaking, we are in the “home strait” as we have one month of Lent behind us.

In Passiontide we cover the Crucifix, the statues and holy paintings with purple, the colour of mourning. On one level, we may wonder why we cover the very items that aid devotion. Surely the answer has to be that we need to be drawn away from mere externals.

(After all, Jesus Christ is not present in the Crucifix. Our Blessed Lady is not present in her statue). The one true presence in Church is the REAL PRESENCE of Jesus Christ in the Tabernacle.

Using an analogy from athletics, therefore, we are in the “home strait” – 100 metres from the finishing tape – the absolutely key part of the entire “race”! How have we positioned ourselves within the pack of the other competitors? What physical and sporting condition are we in?

Via this analogy, the other competitors are the things of this world. To what do we give our “free time”, after our daily work or studying? Is our mindset one of “let us play” rather than “let us pray”?

We hear much in our times of a work-life balance – and understandably so. Yet what about a play-pray balance?

We need to embrace Passiontide, with its purple coverings. It directs us beyond the mere externals, which we should not view as our props, as such.

Certainly, they are noble encouragements towards spiritual devotion – but if they all mysteriously disappeared overnight, surely our religious faith, and faith practice, would
not follow them in a similar disappearing act!