This Sunday is the second Sunday of Lent. Yes! It is only the second Sunday of Lent, which means, that there are almost another five weeks to go before Easter. Five weeks more without those chocolate muffins, or that pint after a long day. Sorry I had to remind you.
There is more to Lent, however, than giving up things. In fact, I would say that Lent is not primarily about giving up things. Lent is essentially a time of pilgrimage. I often like to think that, in the same way that when we pack our things to go on a journey we need to leave all the non-essential things behind, in Lent too, we give up few non- essentials, in order to travel lighter.
Last week we made our first stop in the desert. Perhaps not the most exotic place to go. But hey! This is a pilgrimage, not a tour. And there, in the desert, we evidenced something that for many seems impossible: defeating temptation. It was a quick visit (don´t worry we will go back next year). For now, we must move on, but hopefully, we do it with a renewed hope and greater faith in the power of grace.
This week, our Lenten programme takes us to the mountains. Revisiting first, the experience of Abraham on the top of mount Moriah, where he sacrificed his only son, Isaac. A passage which leaves no one indifferent. There are, of course, some who console themselves with the idea that in the end Abraham did not kill his son Isaac. However, difficult as this story might be, we must avoid rushing to the end, or we risk missing the point. Abraham was asked to sacrifice – that is to offer – the child to God. Not so much because God wanted to see Abraham´s reaction. But because God wanted Abraham to remember that Isaac was a gift. And Abraham did remember, to the point that he was totally determined to offer his son in sacrifice to God. So determined he was, that recovering his son alive from the top of the altar, was like seeing him rising from the dead. It was indeed a life-changing moment for both. Isaac saw first hand what faith looks like. And Abraham experienced once again the providence of God. Father and son returned home with Sarah and their servants, but what happened on the top of that mountain shaped the rest of their lives and indeed the rest of human history.
Then the gospel takes us to the top of another mountain, this time with Jesus and three apostles, Peter, James and John. There, Jesus unveiled his divine nature and allowed his disciples to see who he truly is. Well… we can say that with the benefit of hindsight. It is more difficult to know exactly what the apostles made of it then. One thing is clear, though, the apostles who went up the mountain with Jesus never returned the same.
And I suppose that this how pilgrimages work. The experience of being close to God changes something in us, even if sometimes we don´t understand what exactly, and how. Now, though, the important thing is to continue with this Lenten journey allowing the grace of God to transform us and make us ready for the Easter celebrations.
In light of the government's road-map for exiting lockdown and in order to allow more people to attend Mass we will be reviewing the times of Masses. However, for the moment, we are still in lockdown and are unable to accommodate everyone who would like to attend Mass. It is important that you book your places and keep an eye on the website to see what places are available.
Much has been said about the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
Fr Ivano Millico offers a contemplative and faith-filled analysis in response to the public debate, looking at recent events through a prophetic lens and enlisting the help of the saints who have lived through moments of great crisis.
Our Parish will receive some copies of this little book. If you wish to acquire one, please, contact us at:email@example.com
During Lent we will be supporting the Cardinal's Lenten Appeal.
Leaflets and envelopes are at the back of the Church.
This Lent, please support the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal
and help provide food for children and families in our
communities who are facing hunger. You could also support
work to help our brothers and sisters come through the
global pandemic stronger and better able to cope.
You can make your donations using the link bellow:
Even if you have already decided to participate in another Lent Course (there are many on offer) please consider joining with other Christians in RBKC (including KCC and CTiNH) for one hour, each Wednesday this Lent.
See all details bellow on the attached poster.
A useful link for prayer and reflection if you are feeling weary and anxious
Another Lent study group for you to consider.
Global Healing Course for Lent. Throughout Lent, the Global Catholic Climate Movement is holding a series of online evenings with inspiring speakers, films, prayer and discussion, challenging people to respond to Pope Francis' call to Care for Our Common Home in Laudato Si'. Hosted by the GCCM Laudato Si' Animators in the UK the events take place on six Thursdays from 18th February - 25th March 2021, 7.30pm - 8.30pm. To register please click here: