Fr Roland - February 2012

posted 4 Mar 2012, 00:52 by Richard Jones   [ updated 4 Mar 2012, 00:52 ]

My dear friends,

FEBRUARY 22nd ASH WEDNESDAY

Day of fasting and abstinence.

At the end of this month once again we enter the season of LENT. Ash Wednesday is a day when we can fast - either from all food or some - and abstain from overt pleasure and whatever we consider is at variance with the observance. But witnessing for Christ as his ambassadors should be on our daily schedule at all times.

We may have decided to give up something for Lent, such as sugar, chocolate, drink (G&T) or something more exotic. The absence of these may focus our minds on the season, or narrow our waistlines somewhat. But unless we use the time and money saved by these deprivations in a positive way for God, they are rather futile. The purpose of Lent is not to make us feel miserable or virtuous, but closer to God and therefore better able to fight temptation. It also provides a time for reflection on the direction our life may be taking.

Jesus went into the wilderness to do all these things; and the Gospels tell us very convincingly how well everything worked out for him, this in itself is surely a great encouragement for us to do likewise.

 Few if any of us can withdraw from the world as thoroughly as Jesus, and in any case we have less, if any, justification for doing so. Jesus left the hustle and bustle to prepare for his saving mission, once, and for all. We are not told that he went into the 40-day seclusion each year. But we have our mission already lined up for us by Jesus. We can hone it by more prayer, more reflection, more Bible study in Lent, but the world needs Christians to be where the action is.

Fr Roland

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