The Challenge of the Gospel
A tourist meets a pirate in a country pub. Curious about the pirate’s appearance – an artificial leg, a hook, and an eye patch – he asks: “How did you end up with the peg-leg?” The pirate replies, “It was a stormy night, and I fell into shark- infested waters. One shark took my leg off.” “Oh!’ the tourist gasps. “That’s terrible! And what about your hook”? “Well”, replies the pirate, “A sword of an enemy cut off my hand. I had to make my arm useful, nonetheless. So, there’s the hook.” “Wow!” remarks the tourist. “But how about the eye patch”? “An ant bit my eyelid,” replies the pirate. “You mean, you lost your eye because of one ant?” the tourist asked in disbelief. “Well,” says the pirate, “it was just a few hours after my hook was installed.” The pirate, though, has reason to be thankful. He still has one good eye!
“Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?” This is the question posed by Jesus in our Gospel this weekend. To be blind is very unfortunate. But there is something worse than physical blindness. And this is what the Lord is telling us through today’s scripture: “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?”
Many people have perfect and keen eyesight, but that is only when they look for other people’s mistakes. But when it comes to their own sins and mistakes, they are blind. It is as if a big wooden beam blocks their eyes. Welcome as together we now celebrate the 8th Sunday of the Church’s year.
And It All Begins on Wednesday
This Season of Lent is a time of fasting, almsgiving and consciously making room for God in our busy lives. Whatever image comes to your mind, with the distribution of ashes this Wednesday we begin another Lenten journey together. Once again there are many opportunities to grasp hold of during these coming 40 days.
Fasting & Abstinence: Ash Wednesday is one of two days of fasting and abstinence set down by the Church, the other being Good Friday. In current Catholic practice, Fasting means having only one full meal a day. Smaller quantities of food may be eaten at two other meals but no food should be consumed at any other time during the day. The law of fasting applies to those who are 18 to 59 years old. Abstinence is the practice of abstaining from the use of certain kinds of food. Everyone aged 14 years and older is required to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The spirit of the law may invite us to extend the fast to things other than food – tweeting, surfing the net, gambling or gossiping. The minimum fasting requirements make most sense when they are combined with prayer and almsgiving. The Catholic practice of fasting and almsgiving aims at leading us to interior conversion. We fast in order to share our time and our treasure with an attitude of love towards God and others.
Daily Mass: Why not incorporate daily Mass into your Lenten journey this year? Each day we have daily Masse opportunities for you to incorporate into your daily Lenten routine.
Parish Mini Mission: It is important to make time to reflect on our lives and the direction life is taking us. To help us this year we welcome Brother Damien Price who will lead our Parish Mini Mission. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, March 7th/8th/9th from 9:30am at Caloundra and 4:30pm at Maleny. Extra sessions on Monday/Tuesday are also available for those who work during the day at 7pm in the OLR Parish Centre – supper provided. Don’t let this Lenten opportunity slip by!
Little Black Books: Available at each church are the Little Black Books, which contain short and appropriate daily reflections which are a tremendous companion throughout the days of Lent. A gold coin donation to cover the cost would be appreciated.
Do Something Different: This Lent why not mark in your diary the Taize prayer opportunity at OLR Caloundra on Tuesday 15th March at 7pm, and at 6pm on Sunday 6th march at St George’s Anglican church, 2 Walkers Drive, Maleny.
Reconciliation: Forgiveness should be part of everyone’s Lenten journey. It is never easy! Every Saturday at OLR church from 8:30 to 9am. Our Communal Rite of Reconciliation takes place during Holy Week.
Project Compassion: A practical and life giving aspect of Lent has always been our sacrifices and the ability to financially support, through the Project Compassion Appeal, those who have come off second best. Indeed, Project Compassion is something that all individuals and families can be involved in. Envelopes are available at the entrance to the church.
Lenten Programme: This year the Lenten Programme is entitled, “The Spirit and the Cross” . All those who have been part of the programme in previous Lents have found it a valuable part of their journey – it’s not too late to be part of it this year. Contact the Parish office on 5430 9390. If you have ordered the Lenten books please come to the office to collect them.
Lent is a Solemn Season: You will notice that together we will pray the Confiteor while the Gloria is omitted until the great celebrations of Easter.
As a Catholic Parish, as individuals and as families, Lent is an important time. To ensure that the grace of this season, and all the God-given opportunities, do not just slip through our fingers; it is important to think now how this Lent will be different and life transforming.
Blessings on your week,