18 February 2018
1st Sunday of Lent
1st: Genesis 9:8-15.
2nd: 1 Peter 3:18-22
The Gospel of Mark (1:12-15)
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan. He was with the wild beasts, and the angels looked after him.
After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
The Temptation in the Desert
But He retires into the desert that He may teach us that, leaving the allurements of the world, and the company of the wicked, we should in all things obey the Divine commands. He is left alone and tempted by the devil, that He might teach us, “that all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
But He was tempted forty days and forty nights that He might show us that as long as we live here and serve God, whether prosperity smile upon us, which is meant by the day, or adversity smite us, which agrees with the figure of night, at all times our adversary is at hand, who ceases not to trouble our way by temptations. Whence it follows, “And He was in the wilderness forty days and forty nights, and was tempted by Satan.”
Consider also that Christ dwells among the wild beasts as man, but, as God, uses the ministry of Angels. Thus, when in the solitude of a holy life we bear with unpolluted mind the bestial manners of men, we merit to have the ministry of Angels, by whom, when freed from the body, we shall be transferred to everlasting happiness.
Bede the Venerable (Catena Aurea)
This week’s feasts
Wed 21 Saint Peter Damian, Bishop, Doctor
Thu 22 Saint Peter’s Chair Feast
Fri 23 Saint Polycarp, Bishop, Martyr
Psalter week I
Readings for 2nd Sunday of Lent
1st: Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18
Psalm: 115: 10, 15-19.
2nd: Romans 8:31-34
Gospel: Mark 9:2-10
Saint Polycarp, Bishop, Martyr and Link
Just as the death of St. John the Apostle closed the Apostolic Age around the year 100 in Ephesus, St. Polycarp’s closed the sub-Apostolic one around 155 in Smyrna. Polycarp is a key historical link between the Catholic Church and Christ. He knew many who had seen the Lord, and was made bishop of Smyrna (today, Turkey) by the Apostles themselves. He confronted heretics like Marcion who once told him, “Recognise us,” to which Polycarp replied, “Ay, ay, I recognise the first-born of Satan”. Persecution was fierce at that time; when Polycarp was captured, he fed his pursuers and no one could convince him to try to save his life. Upon entering the stadium for execution, a voice from heaven could be heard: “Be strong, Polycarp, and play the man”. Then, the proconsul urged him to curse Christ, and the bishop made his famous remark: “Eighty-six years have I served Him, and he has done me no harm. How then can I curse my King that saved me.
” First, they wanted to throw Polycarp to the beasts but there were none available since the sports were closed, then, they tried to burn him but the flames would not touch him. Finally, when an executioner was ordered to stab him, he died and so much blood poured out of the martyr’s body that it put out the fire.
St. Polycarp, pray for us.
Prayer, Fasting, Generosity and Love
(…) Our age, regrettably, is particularly susceptible to the temptation toward selfishness which always lurks within the human heart. The spirit of the world affects our inner propensity to give ourselves unselfishly to others and drives us to satisfy our own particular interests. The Son of God loved us first, while «we were yet sinners» (Rom 5:6), with an unconditional love which asks nothing in return. If this is so, how can we fail to see the season of Lent as a providential opportunity to make courageous decisions inspired by altruism and generosity? Lent offers us the practical and effective weapons of fasting and almsgiving as a means of combating an excessive attachment to money. Giving not only from our abundance, but sacrificing something more in order to give to the needy, fosters that self-denial which is essential to authentic Christian living.
Cf. St. John Paul II, Message for Lent 2003
St. Paul’s Passion of the Lord 2018 is in the making. It will be on 21 March. WE NEED ACTORS. Please contact Fr. Fernando at 9993 3130.
Lenten Friday Observance Mass will be at 11.30am followed by Stations of the Cross.
Cup of soup, roll and cheese at the Coffee Shop on Fridays during Lent after Stations of the Cross. Donation 5€. (Hospice and Caritas).
Brexit Info meeting by British High Commissioner Tue 27 Feb 2:30pm at Phoenix Club or Wed 7 Feb 11:30am at Kamaris Club (UK residents).
CARITAS is looking for a new storeroom and for accommodation for a Polish couple in their 50’s. Call Wendy at 9904 0294. Prayers help too! Lap-top Raffle made €940 for Caritas Paphos. Thanks to all for participating and to those who helped
Mass Times HERE