Today we in Ireland pause from our lenten penances to honour Patrick, the apostle of the Irish. In our celebration of this solemn feast, we worship God, creator, redeemer and sanctifier, who brought our ancestors into the Christian fold through the preaching of St Patrick.
This Sunday we come to the midpoint of Lent. The season is half over, and the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus is nearer to us. On this midway Sunday, it is traditional to honour mothers, praying for those still with us and remembering those who have died.
The Lord has the message of eternal life: in Lent we come to know this message and deepen our relationship with the Saviour of the world.
As we continue to celebrate Lent, it’s important that we keep the goal of our journey before us. The gospel of the transfiguration is read on this lenten Sunday each year, to remind us to hold firm to a vision of glory, on dark days. Easter and its joy will follow this season of penance, just as the resurrection followed the passion and death of Jesus.
Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Lent. All over the world today, people of all ages are beginning their preparation period for baptism at the Easter Vigil. Like them, we begin our own preparations for Easter, looking forward to renewing our baptismal vows and being blessed with Easter water.
‘Whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God.’ The words are St Paul’s, from today’s second reading. We gather here to give glory to God , marking the Day of Prayer for Temperance and preparing for the Lenten Spring.
As we come together for worship, each of us brings worries, anxieties and fears. We gather them all together and entrust them to the one who heals his suffering people.
We come together to listen to God’s word and share the bread of life together. As God’s family here, we praise the one who has rescued us from sin and darkness, and brought us the hope of heaven.
The calling of Andrew and his brother Peter is described in today’s Gospel. Like those early disciples, we too are called. As believers, we gather here to listen to God’s word, resolving to put it into practice in the coming week.
Now that the Christmas season is behind us and we are moving into the New Year, the liturgy challenges us to reflect on what following Christ means. We gather as God’s people, called to follow the Lamb of God and we praise God, with thanksgiving.