Dear Friends,

Our readings are beginning to turn our attention towards Lent. In the old Calendar this Sunday is referred to a Septuagesima, reminding us there are 70 days until the end of Easter week and 3 Sundays before Lent begins.

This is a time to prepare for the gift of the season of Lent. We are asked to focus especially on prayer, fasting and almsgiving during this season so that our minds are turned towards the needs of others and to remind ourselves that our lives are not made secure in material things alone.

The created world is God’s gift to us that points us to his wonderful creativity and generosity which in turn should lift our hearts in praise of our glorious God. However, too often we have treated this gift as an end in itself and lost sight of the giver. It is so easy to build our security and trust in material things themselves and to think that they define who we are.

This week Jeremiah and Jesus both, in very stark language, remind us that our focus, trust and identity is to be found in God alone and not in what is ‘here today and gone tomorrow.’ St Paul tells us that Christ’s death and resurrection are proof of the triumph of the eternal over the temporal, life over death and divine love over sin.

Blessings Fr Neil