News for the First Sunday of Lent

News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st February 2021: The First Sunday of Lent

The season of Lent has begun and gives us all the opportunity to reconcile ourselves with God. We will hear a lot about reconciliation over the next 40 days, as we are reminded to examine our conscience and see how we have failed to put Jesus at the centre of our lives. Many people will be giving up chocolate, or alcohol, or something else which they enjoy. But to what end? A personal gain? A sense of achievement? An attempt to “fast” without temptation? If we are to use Lent as a period to grow closer to God, then there has to be more than just giving something up. In fact, it would probably be more appropriate to take something else on. Perhaps increased time in prayer, or reading from the scriptures or some other devotional aid. Father Philip Barnes has produced “A Covenant with God” – A Journey through Lent 2021 which focuses on the Sunday Readings week-by-week.

We are all so busy (even when we are in “lockdown” and our movements are restricted) that we often struggle to find time to pray. Yet this is our opportunity to communicate with Our Heavenly Father. This Lent, we are offering a time for all of us to spend in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Thursday evenings from 6.45 – 7.30pm will be a time for us to spend in prayer, together (even if we are apart). We will know that, even if we can't physically be in church, or even if we can't tune in online on YouTube or Facebook, that we can join with others in our worshipping community. There is so much in our lives, in our community, in our country and in our fragile world that needs our prayer – and Jesus always listens when we pray in earnest. Please join with us this Lent. Thanks to Fr Hector at All Saints Church, Kenton we are pleased to attach the Lent Message from Pope Francis, which always makes for inspirational reading.

The Vigil Mass for the First Sunday of Lent takes place, as usual, at 6.00pm on Saturday 20th February. At the Parish Mass on Sunday 21st February at 10.30am we will welcome Bishop Jonathan as our celebrant and preacher. Do please support his visit if you can. Next week we may find out more about the timescales which will lead towards a lessening of the Covid restrictions. It's not going to happen straight away and in many ways, may help us to stay focused on our Lenten Journey. Whatever happens, please continue to stay safe, stay well and have a blessed Lent.

“During these 40 days, let me put away all my pride. Let me change my heart and give up all that is not good within me. Let me love God with all that I am and all that I have.”

David Griffiths