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"Into the desert with Jesus"
Around 85 people, many new, joined the Verbum Dei one day Lenten recollection in Christ the King Parish, Greenmeadows on 20 March 2019. The opening dynamic helped us deepen the Lenten means of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The 1st guidelines by Fr James focused on the Lenten message of Pope Francis where we were invited to enter into the desert with Jesus to allow Him to transform the barren land into a fruitful garden - Isaiah 51:3 “Her deserts he shall make like Eden, her wasteland like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness shall be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of song.”
The participants were also invited to enhance the perspective of their Lenten journey and transformation in line with the invite of Pope Francis: “by concretely welcoming Christ’s victory over sin and death into our lives, we will also radiate its transforming power to all of creation.” (Pope Francis, Lenten message 2019).
In the afternoon, Stella Deriquito, a Verbum Dei apostle gave a beautiful talk on the effects of sin. We were invited to see our sins not as a LIST but as a LOSS – where we lose out on our relationship with God, with others, with self and with the whole cosmos. We were reminded that our prayer during this time is not to close ourselves off in a purely private world. “To pray is not to step outside history and withdraw to our own private corner of happiness. When we pray properly we undergo a process of inner purification which opens us up to God and thus to our fellow human beings as well.” (Pope emeritus Benedict XVI).
The closing homily centered on the importance of the mission of the Church and that the whole of creation is waiting with “eager expectation” (Romans 8:19) to learn how to pray. “Let us not allow this season of grace to pass in vain! Let us ask God to help us set out on a path of true conversion. Let us leave behind our selfishness and self-absorption, and turn to Jesus’ Pasch” (Pope Francis, Lenten message 2019).
Happy onward Lenten journey!
With thanks to the WordNews team
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