News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th March 2022: The Second Sunday of Lent
The Gospel on the Second Sunday of Lent always recalls The Transfiguration of The Lord. The events are recorded in all three of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) and some may argue that Saint John also alludes to this event in the prologue to his Gospel: “The Word was made flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth”. John was there, after all, along with Peter and James. Jesus took them with him up the mountain to pray. And while they were there, the most amazing sight greeted them. “the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became as brilliant as lightning. Suddenly there were two men talking to him; they were Moses and Elijah appearing in glory, and they were speaking of his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem.” It may seem strange that only a week and a half into Lent, we are already thinking about the suffering and passion of Jesus in Holy Week and his crucifixion, death and resurrection at Easter. But that's what Lent is all about. A time to prepare ourselves for that most glorious of events. Two years ago, our Lenten preparations were affected by the onset of the Covid pandemic. Last year, we were still coming out of the winter lockdown. This year, our thoughts cannot fail but be distracted by the events taking place in The Ukraine. The re-telling of The Transfiguration of The Lord at this stage in Lent is like a small glimmer of light at the end of a long dark tunnel. Let us keep in our thoughts and prayers those for whom that light may appear to be a long way off or even disappearing into the distance. Take some consolation from the words of Psalm 26:
“The Lord is my light and my help;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
before whom shall I shrink?”
Pastor Zafar Bhatti, ACAT Harrow's Prayer Case of the Month, will be praying for any light at the end of his dark tunnel in the Adiala Central Jail in Pakistan. He has been accused of blasphemy and has been sentenced to death without fair trial. We are being encouraged to write to the Prime Minister of Pakistan or to the Federal Minister for Law and Justice to state his case. You may take this on as a humanitarian offering of your Lenten observance. At the very least, please include him in your prayers; alongside those who are suffering as a result of the Ukranian invasion.
The first Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 12th March at 6.00pm. Parish Mass is on Sunday 13th March at 10.30am.
Listen out for these words of the Responsorial Psalm:
“I am sure I shall see the Lord's goodness
in the land of the living.
Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.
Hope in the Lord!”