Focus on the Readings… The long reading of Matthew’s account of the Lord’s Passion is presented as a series of alternating scenes in which the disciples fail while Jesus commits himself both to them and to the Father. The betrayal by Judas, the disciples fleeing at his arrest and Peter’s denial all highlight a sinful humanity and imperfect faith.
At the Easter Vigil, the highpoint of the Triduum, Catechumens and Candidates all over the world are received into the Church through Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. We continue to pray with all, (especially Feodor Fruhktman of our Parish) as they wait in prayerful hope through the delay in their reception of the Sacraments. Our doors are closed, but our hearts are open.
As we gather in our homes on Good Friday, (while Fr Alan at 3pm commemorates the Lord’s Passion without the presence of the faithful) we are invited to gather around a cross or crucifix (you may be able to make a simple cross) spending a moment to venerate and “Behold the wood of the Cross on which hung the salvation of the world.”
On Holy Thursday, we enter into the celebration of the Paschal Triduum – the great feast celebrated over three days. Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil are three parts of a single whole. We are invited to gather around a lit candle (if possible at 7.30pm, the time when Fr Alan will be celebrating the Mass of the Lord’s Supper in our empty church.) We join ourselves spiritually to Jesus Christ, the Lord, as he embarks on the journey of his passion and death.
Lent is a time for taking stock, deepening our humility and finding ourselves closer to God. Traditionally, Holy Week is a time for seeking Reconciliation and peace. The attached Family Prayer for The End of Lent will help to celebrate God’s compassion and the grace of forgiveness.
Holy Week commences with the celebration of Palm Sunday. While our usual joyful procession, with children waving giant palms, is out of the question, we enter this sacred week with a simpler ritual, and invite each participant to take a green branch from the garden to hold during the prayer.
The pure human emotion of Jesus in this Gospel attests to the love he had for Lazarus, but this human affection is nothing compared with the future promise to which the actions of Jesus towards Lazarus will lead. It is ironic that in raising Lazarus to life, Jesus is ensuring his own death at the hands of the religious authorities!
There are two main points of today’s gospel: the blind man’s journey towards faith and belief, and the contrast between the attitudes of the blind man and his interrogators. Like the Samaritan woman at the well in last week’s gospel, the blind man gradually moves from lack of faith to faith.
Focus of the Readings… This gospel is best read in conjunction with the first reading from Exodus, in which the people of Israel, liberated from slavery in Egypt, are left thirsting in the desert. God provides them with water to sustain their journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land.
Focus on the readings. In the later part of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus warns his disciples that he must journey to Jerusalem to suffer and die and to rise again. He begins his journey towards his fate, but that journey is interrupted by this wondrous moment where he is revealed as the glorious Messiah, the beloved Son of God.