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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Lent 2014 Reflections: Saturday 8th March 2014

Saturday after Ash Wednesday - 8th March 2014

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:9-14

9 Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he will say, 'I am here.' If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist and malicious words,
10 if you deprive yourself for the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, your light will rise in the darkness, and your darkest hour will be like noon.
11 Yahweh will always guide you, will satisfy your needs in the scorched land; he will give strength to your bones and you will be like a watered garden, like a flowing spring whose waters never run dry.
12 Your ancient ruins will be rebuilt; you will build on age -- old foundations. You will be called 'Breach-mender', 'Restorer of streets to be lived in'.
13 If you refrain from breaking the Sabbath, from taking your own pleasure on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath 'Delightful', and the day sacred to Yahweh 'Honourable', if you honour it by abstaining from travel, from seeking your own pleasure and from too much talk,
14 then you will find true happiness in Yahweh, and I shall lead you in triumph over the heights of the land. I shall feed you on the heritage of your father Jacob, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.

Reflection by Kim Lee:

A lot of the time we do not realise that we are surrounded by so much good. The media and society like to highlight all the rubbish going on around us that we end up becoming accustomed to a dysfunctional society, such that, for us, it becomes the norm. We are told that if we "deny ourselves for those in hunger and satisfy the afflicted", our "light will rise in the darkness" - this reminds me of St. Francis of Assisi's words, "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle". This inspires me to tell you that YOU can be the difference in this world, to help bring about change for the better. There is so much evil and perpetuation of exaggerated falsehoods, filled with temptation to draw people into what is wrong. All sorts of external pressures that seep into us and soon become internal pressures if we do not hold onto God. 

Turn back to God this Lent. All you need to do is to look around you - the Church building even can teach you things without anyone saying anything to you. If you look at a stained glass window in the parish, do you notice that always at the centre is God, usually depicted as the Father or Jesus? You may also notice how all the saints/people around the window are looking at the centre, looking at God. Their focus is totally on Him. We need to take the saints as our example and centre our lives back on God if we are expecting to find peace and true fulfilment. If we centre our lives on anything else, any lesser good could and probably would destroy us. 
Lent Giving: Take some time to think about what you have centred your life on. Try and ensure that your life is centred on God, and that your focus is on Him. Choose one part of the day to really pray more, fast on Fridays with a smile on your face, and give alms to the poor - and they aren't just the one's on your street - if your next door neighbour needs help and you can help them, then do so! :)

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