Sometimes Jesus’ parables need translation from the context of 1st century Judah to our own time, but not today. The image of the splinter in a brother’s eye and a plank in our own is all to clear. In today’s gospel Jesus uses the image to invite us to have him as our teacher and guide, because “the fully trained disciple will always be like their teacher”.
The gospel reminds us to avoid criticising others when our own faults are much more evident and to stop and spend some time knowing what our planks of sin are, so we can root them out, not for blaming others but by stripping away the externals to focus on our self. Thus, we can recognise our sins and weakness and come to repent for them.
Today’s gospel is therefore a perfect one to hear just before we begin the season of Lent – Ash Wednesday is on Wednesday – why, because Lent is a time to strip away our comforts and our delusions, to see ourselves more clearly through the lens of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
St. David’s Day
A reminder that the day before Lent, as well as being Shrove Tuesday is the celebration of the Patron Saint of Wales, St. David. We can come to celebrate St. David’s Day and pray for all the people of Wales at 10.00am on the Solemnity of our nation’s Patron.
Dydd Gŵyl Dewi – Yr Offeren yn Gymraeg
Alternatively, we can come along to celebrate St. David’s Day at Mass in Welsh? Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Peter Davies at St. Teilo’s on Tuesday, March 1st at 6pm. Bilingual booklets will be provided. Croeso cynnes i bawb!
Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, a day of Fasting and Abstinence when all Catholics fast from one meal and abstain from meat. Age restrictions apply to the fast. Lent is a good time to remember that all faithful Catholics are expected to keep abstinence from meat on all Fridays of the year.
There will be two Masses on Wednesday, at Our Lady of Lourdes Church at 10am and at St. Teilo’s at 7pm. Ashes will be distributed during both Masses.
Prayer for Ukraine
Pope Francis writes:
I invite everyone to make this coming 2nd March, Ash Wednesday, a Day of Fasting for Peace: let believers dedicate themselves intensively to prayer and fasting. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.
Let us offer up or Lenten observances for the People of Ukraine and for peace in their land.
For other thoughts on the way we can mark this year’s Lent please see the Parish newsletter.