March 23 – Wednesday of Holy Week

Posted on March 23, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

godListensToday’s Scripture

“For the Lord listens to the needy and does not spurn his servants in their chains,” (Psa 69:33 ).

Daily Lent Reflection

We are all limited and needy and yet we all pretend that we are not. This learned attitude often leaks into our prayer as well. And so it is often only in times of hardship or suffering that we hit the truth of our own reality which is precisely where God is waiting to meet us! It takes courage to face our own inadequacy when we feel vulnerable – but it is the only way to establish a life-giving connection with the truth.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I ask myself what my limitations are. What do I really need? Is this different from what I want? Where is God in all of that?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 22 – Tuesday of Holy Week

Posted on March 22, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

lightOfNationsToday’s Scripture

“I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth,” (Isa 49:6 ).

Daily Lent Reflection

God is fond of light. Creation includes separation of light from darkness, and our own lives are marked by the same strife. However, we often do not feel very ‘enlightening’ to those closest to us, never mind the nations! In those moments, it is good to remember this promise: “I will make you the light…’ God will do it…if we let God fan into flame that spark of divine life in us. Amazing things happen when we do: we become bearers of God’s healing, well beyond the boundaries of our tiny lives.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I ask myself how I can allow God to work in me – and through me – even more? What is my particular mission to others?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 21 – Monday of Holy Week

Posted on March 21, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

beautifulLoveToday’s Gospel

“Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil,” (John 12:3 ).

Daily Lent Reflection

This gesture can seem wasteful – extravagant and over the top. And yet, this gesture of profound generosity transforms the entire atmosphere. Something priceless is released in this wasteful act of outrageous intimacy: a beautiful scent of love and care that perfumes the whole house. Not dissimilar is Jesus pouring out his life into our (sometimes not the cleanest) existence and filling it with exquisite aroma.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I ask myself what is my most precious commodity? Is it time, or is it something else? What stops me from ‘wasting’ it on Jesus? On others?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 20 – Palm Sunday

Posted on March 20, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

palmSundayToday’s Scripture

“Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself,” (Phil 2:6-7 ).

Daily Lent Reflection

Today we are entering the mystery of Christ’s humility. We start on a triumphant note, but quickly move to a terrible death on a cross, freely accepted! If we follow Christ’s example, it is not a mindless emptying so that horrors can defeat us. It is an emptying so that God can fill us with power beyond our own strength, and so transform our reality from within with consequences far beyond our wildest imagination.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I ask myself what fills my life? What do I need to let go of? Where do I experience moments of death? What areas of my life do I need to allow God to fill?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 19 – Fifth Saturday of Lent

Posted on March 19, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

beNotAfraidToday’s Gospel

“’Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home,’” (Matthew 1:20).

Daily Lent Reflection

St Joseph is one of the great examples of a person of faith. Matthew’s Gospel describes him as a man of honour, and he is faced with what is humanly a very difficult situation: his betrothed wife is expecting a baby and he is not the father. What must have been his thoughts and feelings when he found out? However, he is able to trust the voice in his dream.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will ask myself where do I hear God’s voice telling me not to be afraid? Am I able to trust? Or at least to pray for trust and courage?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

Pope Francis launches own Instagram account

Posted on March 18, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 11.52.59 AM(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday officially launches his own account on the Instagram photo-sharing social network site, under the name “Franciscus.” Founded in 2010, Instagram has around 400 million users worldwide and shares photos and videos with a community of followers.

The opening of the Pope’s Instagram account will increase his strong presence on social media platforms. He already has a Twitter account with the hashtag @ Pontifex that has over 26 million followers who are constantly increasing in number.

Click here to read the full post

March 18 – Fifth Friday of Lent

Posted on March 18, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

godKnowsAllToday’s Gospel

“LORD of hosts, you test the just, you see mind and heart, Let me see the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause,” (Jeremiah 20:12).

Daily Lent Reflection

For Jeremiah, God is the one who knows us intimately, who sees into our hearts and our souls and from whom nothing can be hidden. If my relationship with God is a fearful one, this is a very scary thought, but if I am able to even get an inkling of God’s unconditional love for me, there can be something very comforting about being known in this way. There is nothing I need to hide from God, nothing that could make God love me less; God already knows all my secrets, all my hidden thoughts and desires – even those I don’t understand myself!

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will ask myself what does it feel like to be known intimately? How open is my heart to God knowing me in this way?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 17 – Fifth Thursday of Lent

Posted on March 17, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

noTurningBackToday’s Gospel

“They left everything and followed him,” (Luke 5:11).

Daily Lent Reflection

It is hard to imagine the incredible impression Jesus must have made on the disciples to make them leave everything and follow him. However, are we not called to do the same? What do we need to leave in order to follow him?

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will think about one aspect of my life that stops me from following Jesus and ask God to help me change.

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 16 – Fifth Wednesday of Lent

Posted on March 16, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

freeFromSinToday’s Gospel

“’If you make my Word your home, you will indeed be my disciples; you will learn the truth and the truth will make you free,’” (John 8:31, NJB).

Daily Lent Reflection

Home is a wonderful place where we are welcomed for what we are and, whatever failings we may have, we can always go back home. The Word of Jesus offers that home for the disciples of Jesus Christ and by listening to the Word, Jesus promises that we will not only grow in love and understanding of God, but we will be changed, we will see ourselves and the world around us differently and be gradually freed from sin.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will be grateful for “home” whether that means a place or people to me.

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 15 – Fifth Tuesday of Lent

Posted on March 15, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

wordsAndActionsToday’s Scripture

“’The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him,’” (John 8:29).

Daily Lent Reflection

Jesus speaks here with a certainty about the teachings of his Father. He is met with misunderstanding initially and these few lines are his response to being misunderstood. Lent is about realigning ourselves with the will of the Father. Perhaps today is a good time to audit again how this Lenten journey is going.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will ask myself if I preach what I know of God – in both word and action. What small thing can I do today to show that I am a witness?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark