Fifth Week of Lent – Passiontide

“See, I am doing a new deed, even now it comes to light; can you not see it?  Yes, I am making a road in the wilderness, paths in the wilds.” Isaiah 43:19

We are now in the final two weeks of Lent.  This is also known within the Church as ‘Passiontide’. Throughout our Lenten journey we have been slowly transformed and remade in our hearts by the work of the Holy Spirit in us, as He has been making new things spring up and come into being.  This has been through our prayer, fasting and giving.  During Lent we allow God to do something new in us.

The word ‘Passion’ in this case refers not to intense feelings or emotions but has its roots in the Latin word ‘passio’ meaning ‘to suffer’. Our attention is particularly drawn to Jesus as He turns His Face towards Jerusalem where His public ministry and earthly mission will culminate in His suffering, Death and Resurrection.

The church interior takes on a very sombre mood.  The purple colour of Lent now steps up a gear as the statues are veiled in purple, which reminds us that our sins separate us from God. Our loving Father does not abandon us though, for His love encourages us to approach Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation where we confess our sins with the help of the Holy Spirit and receive His Mercy and loving Forgiveness which Jesus brings to us.

The usual statues and other items of piety and prayer are covered, leaving only the emblems and symbols of the Passion of Jesus – the main Crucifix near to the altar, the images of the Stations of the Cross, and of the Tabernacle -Jesus’ Living, Real, Eucharistic Presence which reminds us of Holy Communion and the offering of His Holy Body and Precious Blood in the Mass just as He did once upon the Cross.  These reminders of Jesus’ love and devotion to us help us to hate our sins which made Our Lord suffer so much for us and lead us to love Him more for all He achieved through His sufferings, Death and Resurrection.

As we continue on our Lenten journey, let us continue to come to the source of all Love, Mercy and Grace, our Loving God, who waits with open arms for us to return to Him.

Over the next few days and into next week, as we approach Holy Week, we might wish to pray the Stations of the Cross at home or in church, the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary and particularly during these Holy days the Divine Mercy Chaplet as taught by Jesus to St Faustina.

Our prayer this week:

Heavenly Father,

Your Son Jesus came to bring new life to a world darkened by sin.

Give us the spirit of repentance we pray so we may rise to a new life in Christ.

We ask that we may turn from sin

and be ever faithful to your gospel, the good news of salvation.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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