(From Pope Francis’s Mass for World Youth Day in Campo San Juan Pablo 11, 27th Feb 2019.)….continued…
“Jesus is concrete, close, real love, today. He is festive joy, born of opting for & taking part in the miraculous draught of hope & charity, solidarity & fraternity, despite the paralysed & paralysing gaze born of fear & exclusion, speculation & manipulation. Brothers & sisters, the Lord & his mission are not a “meantime” in our life, something temporary, they are not only a World Day of Youth, they are our life today, our life of journeying ahead! In a special way throughout these days, Mary’s fiat (yes) has been whispering like a kind of music in the background. She not only believed in God & in his promises as something possible, she believed God himself & dared to say “yes” to taking part in this now of the Lord. She felt she had a mission: she fell in love & that decided everything. May you feel that you have a mission, may you fall in love: the Lord will decide everything. Dear Young friends, do you want to live out your love in a practical way? May your “yes” continue to be the gateway for the Holy Spirit to give us a new Pentecost for the Church & for the world.”
(Pope Francis’s powerful message to our young people just over a month ago fits beautifully for each & every one of us as we begin the “now” moment of Lent, which itself begins our journey towards the Cross & Resurrection, & eventually on to the real climax of Pentecost.)
Lent begins this Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, a time of gentle reflection, prayerful self-examination, simple good works, & profound thanksgiving for the gift of our faith, in God & in each other. On Ash Wednesday our 9.45am Mass will be shared with St Benedict’s Primary School. As a Lenten resolution, the children & staff will be writing on a small paper a particular fault which they wish to bring to mind & prayer at the beginning of this season of sorrow & amendment. These will be collected after Mass & will form part of a short Service in the School grounds at 3pm, when the papers will be burnt, as a sign of the faults, returning to ashes, being forgiven & forgotten by Our Lord & ourselves. Each week of Lent we will meet with the parishioners from St Hilda’s for a Lenten Pause a half hour of silent prayer & reflection (waiting for the kingfisher). Dates each week will vary to try to include as many of you as possible. Fri 8th March OL&SB: Tues 12th March St Hilda’s: Fri 22nd March OL&SB: Tues 26th March St Hilda’s: Mon 1st April OL&SB: Tues 9th April St Hilda’s. All at 5.15pm until 5.45pm. On Sun 14th April (Palm Sunday) there will be an ecumenical Stations of the Cross & Palm Procession at Byland Abbey at a time to be decided.
Caroline Dollard has generously agreed to lead a Lent Course based on her new book “Seeking God Together”. It will help us to look at how we accompany families of all shapes, sizes & make up, at every stage of their existence as part of our belonging together & our community responsibility. An introductory session & 5 “seasons” to explore. Each session will include refreshments, reflection & prayer. Wednesdays 13th, 20th, & 27th March: 3rd, 10th, &17th April 2019, 7.30pm to 9pm. If you would like to participate, a list for names is at the back of Church & the Parish will provide each individual with a copy of the book. with love & my prayers. Fr Bede