WELCOME TO THE PARISH OF SKETTY
LAST WORD SUNDAY 18th. FEBRUARY 2018
CRACKS IN THE FABRIC WORK!
Cracks appearing along the walls of buildings may be a sign that there is something wrong with the foundation and urgent attention to them is needed.
So, it is with us as ‘Temples of The Holy Spirit’. Cracks in the outward appearances that we show to each other and the world may be signs that there is something wrong with the foundations of our faith.
These cracks may appear in the way we treat one another. Are we snapping at people or taking offence at relatively minor things? Are we getting very angry and more aggressive? Do we find ourselves being critical and judgemental? Have we become impatient? Are we finding things generally difficult to cope with and losing the sympathy and understanding we once showed? Are we giving in more easily to the pressures of the world around us and are we readier to compromise just to fit in and be accepted? These and many others are all signs that there is something wrong with the foundations of our faith and we need to go back and look inside ourselves to find the problem.
Then it is time to return to our clutter accumulated from our pasts and to see if there is anything there that needs putting right or even completely thrown out in order for The Holy Spirit is to be able to work more effectively and strengthen us against the weaknesses we find. This will help us to prioritise our tasks, which we need to undertake this Lent.
Jesus is the foundation on which we are all built. If we are building on anything or anyone else then we need to stop.
The church provides us with ‘experts’ who can look at these problems with us and give us advice on what to do. How many of us though, I wonder, take gladly to being told we are doing something wrong? Sometimes we find this threatening to our own view of ourselves and our worth and go on the defensive. However, if we realise that as brothers and sisters in the faith we should all be able to give warnings and to receive them. If we really want to be better in our witness and more reflective of Chris in every aspect of our lives, shouldn’t we be willing to listen to each other if we are speaking in Christian love?
If we take the person out of the equation, and see what is being said as advice from God’s spokesman or women, then the threat becomes less.
Discipline and humility are two very necessary characteristics that Christians should seek to
cultivate. While then we are getting rid of clutter, these are two ‘items’ to either retain or acquire
and will help us to repair the cracks and to shore up any weakness in our foundations.
LAST WORD SUNDAY 11th. FEBRUARY
NEED A SPRING CLEAN?
St Paul says that our bodies are, ‘Temples of The Holy Spirit’, (1 Corinthians 6:9), but are we in a fit state to receive Him?
This is the time of year when our houses receive a good ‘spring clean’ where we Sort out the rubbish we have collected, put our cupboards in order, give our paintwork a good clean up and maybe renew or refresh things like curtains and furniture. We do it to make sure our homes are clean, safe and presentable and pleasant places in which to live and to receive visitors.
This Lent, let us think together that this is a time also to ‘spring clean’ our ‘temples’ in order for them to be better places in which God’s Spirit can live and be able to work more effectively!
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. It is the day to start sorting out the clutter in our lives, to consider how we appear to those outside the faith and to each other and what needs improving and attention and focus for improvement.
We can make two lists. One list can contain all the positive things to keep from our pasts that have helped us to grow in the faith and helped our witness. The second list can contain all that is stopping us from growing spiritually and blocking the work of The Holy Spirit within us.
Once we have done this, we are ready to decide how we are to proceed. We may give consideration to what we are going to use to help us and to whom we are going to turn to for advice and guidance. In this, let us remember our main sources: our Bibles and a variety of courses and books, the Sacraments and the gifts offered by our churches and the variety of experts in different areas of our faith, that are found among our Christian brothers and sisters.
We then need to refer to the head of us all, Our Saviour Jesus Christ in prayer in order for Him to show us the way to proceed.
As we begin this work we have set ourselves this season of Lent, let us go to Jesus and ask Him to be our chief advisor and to be with us at all times’. We cannot proceed as we should without Him!
Lent Blessings, Marian S.C.L.