Letter 2013 March 10

Ealing Abbey Coat10th March 2013 – 4th Sunday of Lent (Year C)

Dear Parishioner,

We are now half way through Lent, one of those moments when we take stock and notice how far we have actually put into practice our promises and resolutions about what we would or wouldn’t do during Lent. ‘Oh dear’ perhaps we say, ‘Lent is half gone and I haven’t really begun it yet!’

It is important here to get matters into perspective. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving, which are what our Lenten promises are all about, are good things in themselves, but they are not what Lent is for. We fast a bit, pray a bit more, and are a little more generous in order to remind ourselves of the why we have Lent, which is, of course, to get ourselves ready to celebrate Holy Week and Easter.

That getting ready is a matter of coming closer to, becoming more aware of, Jesus, whose death and resurrection we participate in. He dies because he chooses to live in our world, or at least the mess we make of it; he rises again so that we can live in his world.

Our prayer, fasting and almsgiving are there to help us become a bit more aware of ourselves, so that we see how again and again, it is our foolishness that takes us to the place where he dies, while it is his constant unconditional forgiving which takes us to the place where he rises to new life.

That’s what Lent is about, and we are lucky enough to still have half of it left. So let’s use the time to understand a little better the one who willing gets tangled up in the way that we live, so that we may be caught up in the way he does.

Happy Lent,

Abbot Martin