First Sunday of Lent
21st February 2021
St Joseph’s Passionist Church
Tel: 01. 42 27 28 56
Ash Wednesday gave us a good start to Lent, being celebrated during this pandemic.
Stations of the Cross will be made each Friday evening at 7 p.m. online. Due to the curfew, this must be online only, either ‘live’ or later on. www.stjoeparis.org
Lenten Project 2021: 2 Projects: 1) Archdiocese of Paris wants to provide respite for families and individuals (up to 10 people) who, due to the COVID restrictions, are now in a precarious living situation. A ‘Bridge’ offered by this accommodation can lead back to a better life. Support will be provided during this time of transition. What St Joseph’s raises will be added to all that the Archdiocese raises during Lent.
2) Help for Catholic Schools in Lebanon: On 4th August 2020 Beirut was rocked by a devastating explosion. Oeuvre d’Orient sponsors 15 schools in the area of the explosion. All need repair and help with school fees - €800 per student. Half of our Lenten Project will go to Archdiocese of Paris collection. Donations via ADP online appreciated or place donation in the collection bowl leaving Mass. Cheques for the Lenten Project payable to “St Joseph’s Church” with memo ‘Lenten Project’. In these difficult times this is our attempt to reach out to others in need. Further information and updates weekly.
CCD Confirmation Letters are being delivered by hand to Bishop Marsset. Thanks for your letters. CCD Candidates Retreat on Sat. 27 March at St Joseph’s, 10 a.m., 11 a.m. Mass, Bishop’s feedback 11.30 - 12.30. Parents meet Bishop, 1 – 2 p.m.
Congratulations to Marymount Confirmation Candidates on their Enrolment at School.
Collection 14 Feb: Mass Collection € 613.35 : ADP : € 895; La Quête: € 34. Ash Wednesday Mass Collection: € 420.09. Your generosity shown to us Passionists, Collection at Mass, ADP and La Quête are truly appreciated.
Appel Decisif this Saturday at St Sulpice: 3 Catechumens of St Joseph’s answered a call to Sacraments of Initiation due at Easter Vigil. We pray for them and the other 4 Candidates for Confirmation and Eucharist. Thanks to St Joseph’s team leading RCIA Thursday evenings online.
Feasts: Mon: Chair of St Peter; Tues: St Polycarp; Saturday: Feast of St Gabriel, Passionist, Patron of Youth.
A Reflection by Aidan, C.P.
21 years ago I paid my one and only visit to the Holy Land. It is a visit that I will never forget. I was serving the Passionist Congregation in Rome at that time. A visit to our Community at Bethany gave the Superior General and his council a base to meet and to share, walking in the footsteps of Jesus. Our visit was for Holy Week and Easter.
One of the highlights for me was a day when a visit to the desert was offered. A Bible, a bottle of water and a place to be collected in the evening, was all any of us were given. I loved it and found myself in a new way. I need not bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that I was led by the Holy Spirit to move from the wilderness of the desert into the wilderness within me.
The wilderness of the desert has very little to offer by way of variety. When a person is led by the Spirit into the wildness within, a whole new territory opens us. This is where truth is faced. This is where the truth about oneself is a huge step to being set free in a new way. There is nowhere to hide from the positive and the negatives of life.
This Lent is a continuation of a past year marked by isolation, lockdown, curfew, lack of close personal contact, no restaurants, no theatres and the heartbreak of not being able to welcome all who wish to join in Mass, Sacraments and social get togethers.
Heroic efforts are being made, with great success, to keep contact with CCD and adult parish groups. The loss of human contact is a big part of Lent, and the wilderness of the heart leads to a loss of richness in the quality of life.
There are discoveries about myself that I had not expected that come from spending time in the ‘wilderness’ of the heart and soul. For instance, I never thought I would miss human touch so much. The last time I shook hands with another person is almost 1 year ago. I so look forward to being able to greet you again when the pandemic recedes.
I could continue about what I discover when I enter the wilderness of the heart and soul with the Holy Spirit. It you try it, you will be richly rewarded by what is revealed to you about yourself. The first person I met in the desert in the Holy Land was Jesus. Yes, whenever I let go of control, He stands waiting, smiling with open arms. He loves you and wants your company.
The first question Jesus asks is, ‘How are you?’ This is the question posed at the beginning of every Mass, in person or online. This is the Rite of Penance that sets the tone for the Eucharist. The huge advantage is that when Jesus hears our story, He embraces us, forgives and heals us. This makes us ready to listen to Him. We call this the Word of God. That was why I brought a Bible with me into the wilderness, both in the Holy Land or at home.
To keep me focused on Jesus, I love to make a few notes of what is being said to me. It is easy to be overwhelmed and afterwards wish I could remember what He revealed to me. He will wait while you create your own words of what the Word who is God is saying.
If you feel like giving up during Lent, spend a few minutes with Jesus in your heart and soul. He is waiting there.