1st March 2020 – first Sunday of Lent

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

“You are dust and to dust you shall return”.

Many of us heard these words last Wednesday as ashes were put on our forehead. This reminder of our mortality had a stronger meaning for any of us who are connected with Bishop Challoner School. During the half term one of the boys, Wesley, was found dead in his bed, just a couple of weeks short of his 14th birthday. While another pupil, Kwame, is battling with cancer. Please pray for them.

This is also met by the spread of the coronavirus and the public alarm it is creating. We have been given guidelines from the diocese and business remains as usual. We are reminded to keep hygiene levels and to wash our hands, sanitise them and follow the normal procedure as when having flu (use tissues when sneezing, bin the tissue and wash your hands). Also if you have any of these viral infections, try to have no contact with others.

All these events, alongside the beginning of Lent reminds us of the futility and precariousness of our life. As Pope Francis said at the mass of Ash Wednesday “We are weak, frail and mortal. Centuries and millennia pass and we come and go; before the immensity of galaxies and space, we are nothing. We are dust in the universe. Yet we are dust loved by God. It pleased the Lord to gather that dust in his hands and to breathe into it the breath of life (cf. Gen 2:7). We are thus a dust that is precious, destined for eternal life. We are the dust of the earth, upon which God has poured out his heaven, the dust that contains his dreams. We are God’s hope, his treasure and his glory.”

On the other hand, we travel the opposite way, from life to dust, not only because we will die sooner or later, but because of our choices. Some options we take at times reduce our life, and the lives of people around us, to misery. Pope Francis reminds us what St Paul says “We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20). The Pope continues: “We would have said: “Reconcile yourselves with God!” But no, Paul uses passive form: Be reconciled! Holiness is not achieved by our efforts, for it is grace! By ourselves, we cannot remove the dust that spoils our hearts. Only Jesus, who knows and loves our heart, can heal it. Lent is a time of healing. ”

May this time of grace bring us closer to God and to our brothers and sisters.

Fr Javier

Download the whole Newsletter HERE

Post a comment