We Catholics like to celebrate with food! This is why it is important to eat together as a family and to enjoy the delicious food gifted to us by God and prepared by the hands of our mother or father. Mealtimes should be a time of great celebration and we should make an extra special effort to celebrate Sundays and Catholic feast days. You may even want to consider celebrating important dates such as your anniversary, showing your children that your marriage is something that is important to you and that you delight in remembering that special day.
Pope Francis heard Confessions in the days leading up to the Mass
Pope Francis has given a lesson in love and freedom during
his homily at the Jubilee Mass for Young People in Rome.
The Pope, speaking to thousands of youth in St Peter’s
Square, said that Jesus himself declared that Christians would be known “by the
way they love one another.” The Pope
continued saying, “love, in other words, is the Christian’s identity card.”
The Pope then tackled the meaning of love, stating that love
is something you give.
As we journey with Christ through his Passion and
Crucifixion it is worth bearing in mind some of the little things we as human
beings are drawn to but that are contrary to God’s desire for our lives.
The intolerable pain and suffering taken on by Jesus as he
was abused, spat upon, mocked, and beaten is something we must all think about
over these next few days. Having large
nails driven into your hands and feet and being attached to a cross is
something we simply can’t imagine.
Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion was not some kind of crazy
act designed to impress.
In today’s Gospel we hear about the washing of the apostles’
feet by Jesus. Peter was very resistant
to this as it seemed completely absurd to have Jesus do such a thing. This was, after all, God made man, the
Saviour of the world! It should surely
be the other way round would have been Peter’s thinking.
Yet Jesus makes it clear that this is something he must
do. Firstly, he makes it clear that “unless
I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” This is a clear link to our Baptism and its
fundamental importance in our salvation.
Lent is now upon us and we can all hopefully look
forward to spending much time reflecting on our faith and our relationship with
Jesus as we embark on a journey of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
And while we have the option to develop our
relationship with Jesus all year round, there is perhaps no better time than
Lent to spend a little more time in the presence of Christ; one to one.
This Lent we are invited to get up and walk a while with our Saviour. We
are asked to pray more often than normal; to fast more; and to give more freely
to those in need.
You may not have heard it on the news, but Pope Francis this weekend reaffirmed the truth of marriage as being between one man and one woman. He also reaffirmed his conviction that all life is worthy of protection.
It’s the kind of chat that will dampen the spirits of those who see so called ‘progression’ on these fundamental areas of Catholic doctrine. It’s also the kind of chat that will delight Catholics who hold true to their faith and who value marriage between one man and one woman as decreed by God Himself, and who value the sanctity of life from its very beginning.
From Sunday’s Gospel (John 6:24-35):
‘I tell you most solemnly,
it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven,
it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven,
the true bread;
for the bread of God
is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.’
‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’
‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never be hungry;
he who believes in me will never thirst.’’
Reading this Gospel passage and, in particular, the words of Jesus leave us in no doubt.
Sunday’s Gospel (John 6: 1-15):
‘Jesus went off to the other side of the Sea of Galilee – or of Tiberias – and a large crowd followed him, impressed by the signs he gave by curing the sick. Jesus climbed the hillside, and sat down there with his disciples. It was shortly before the Jewish feast of Passover.
Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip, ‘Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?’ He only said this to test Philip; he himself knew exactly what he was going to do.
Millions flock to see Pope Francis
Around one million people turned out for the first papal Mass of Pope Francis’ visit to Latin America yesterday. The city of Guayaquil, Ecuador was the venue and it brought to mind the incredible scenes from World Youth Day 2013 in Rio, when approximately 4 million swamped the Copacobana to join the Holy Father for Mass.
It’s quite an interesting fact that so many turn out to see the Holy Father and to celebrate Mass with him. Here in Scotland, when Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said Mass in Glasgow in 2010, approximately 80,000 turned out; a healthy number when you consider the gradual decline in Mass attendance in Scotland in recent years.
Archbishop Tartaglia, writing in this month’s Flourish Newspaper, has confirmed that the preliminary phase of the process of planning for future parish provision is now complete.
The Archbishop said that he has “not found this reflection simple or easy” but feels that the preliminary phase was “successful in highlighting the challenge that faces us to make our parish communities sustainable into the future and in initiating a diocesan conversation about the issues involved.”