‘Compassionate of heart, gentle in word, gracious in awareness, courageous in thought, generous in love.’ (John O’Donohue)

The lenten message this week is very much about turning our eyes toward Jesus and refocusing ourselves on the very heart of Jesus’ Gospel message. It is listening to that voice from the heavens that, at Jesus’ Transfiguration, proclaimed, ‘This is my beloved son, listen to him.’ It is listening to Mary say to the servants at the wedding in Cana, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

Jesus invites us to place the human person at the very centre of our faith journey. He invites us to encounter him through the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. Lent is indeed a time ‘for opening the doors to all those in need and recognizing in them the face of Christ’. St Teresa of Kolkata said, ‘Let us stop for a moment to think about the tenderness of God’s love for us. There are thousands of people who would love to have what you have. And yet God has chosen you to be where you are today to share the joy of loving others.’

Jesus calls us to pray from our hearts, relating to God as a parent. He shows us by example that our strength comes from being faithful to the Word. Jesus’ life was immersed in prayer. Lent is the time to weave our lives with prayer. Again, St Teresa of Kolkata described prayer beautifully, saying, ‘Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.’

This year, International Women’s Day (8 March) calls us to ‘Be Bold For Change’. This clarion call could be the insistent knock we hear at the door of our minds and hearts this Lent and beyond.

READ: Lent and the Sacrament of Reconciliation

WATCH: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus – Sung by Loyiso Bala, Neville D. and Ivan Siegel

CONSIDER: Some lenten Resources: from Amazing Catechists; from Loyola Press; from The Religion Teacher