As we walk in the steps of Christ this Lent, we have listened to the account of Jesus’ temptation in the desert and of his transfiguration on high, with Moses and Elijah appearing beside him, symbols of the Law and Prophets. Jesus, the divine Son of Man, keeps company with those who suffer on account of their fidelity to God.
This weekend the readings bring us to focus on Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple, his overturning of the money changers’ tables in zeal for his Father’s house. Many themes are thread through this scene which appears in all four Gospels – the origin and sovereignty of Jesus’ authority, his concern for right worship of God, while the implications of this temple cleansing for us in our time and season are unmistakeable.
It is by our constant spiritual renewal and purification, as individuals and communities, that the light of Christ, the light of humanity, can shine forth brightly in our Church and world. It is by our deepening and dedicated love of God, and a zeal for his mission, that God’s love for humanity becomes more transparent to a watching and waiting world.
As shared in the March edition of Catholic Outlook, Lenten light has shone bright in many of our parishes who have responded to this season with prayerfulness and a renewed dedication to extend Jesus’ mission into the wider community. All across the Diocese of Parramatta communities are praying the Stations of the Cross, fasting in faith, and serving others with sacrificial love. We hope our Lenten resources have assisted you and your family, parish and school communities to enter into this spirit of love and to keep a true Lent.
This weekend also presents an opportunity to reflect on Pope Francis’ vision for the Church in our own diocese, with a unique formation series beginning at St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook, this Saturday 7 March, from 9am-2pm. For those at the eastern end of our Diocese, this first session will be repeated at the Institute for Mission, 1-5 Marion Street, on Saturday 21 March, again from 9am-2pm. You can read more about this opportunity here which is recommended for any parish leaders, ministers and parish pastoral councils as well. I hope to see you there!
Our Diocese of Parramatta journeys through Lent with great faith in our future and great hope in our present. As we continue to walk in the steps of Christ, may God continue to bless your family, parish and communities of faith.
With blessings and great hope,
Director, Pastoral Planning Office