By Ben Smith, Director of the Family & Life Office
Posted on 18 February 2016
This year the Diocese of Parramatta’s Family & Life Office has developed Cleanse our Hearts with Your Mercy, a Family Lenten/Easter Program for parishes and schools in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Most Lenten programs are centred on mid-week parish-based meetings or personal programs. However, there are not many Lenten programs for families to use at home.
Cleanse our Hearts with Your Mercy has been designed for this purpose, particularly for those families with primary school aged children. The program also provides additional resources for celebrating the season of Easter. To download a copy of the program, click here
2nd Sunday of Lent, 21 February 2016
As Jesus prayed, the aspect of His face was changed, and His clothing became brilliant as lightning. (Luke 9:29)
Take a dirty white item of clothing or a towel and with the children treat it with a fabric brightener (eg NapiSan) so that it recovers its whiteness and brightness. Place this item in a position of prominence in your house.
Gospel Reading for the Second Sunday of Lent (Luke 9: 28-36)
Read the Gospel together as a family using a Bible or click here After you have finished reading, spend some moments in silence. Then invite members of your family to share what they think the Gospel is saying, how it touches their hearts or how it motivates them to take some action. Say an Our Father together to close this reflection time.
Sing Shine Jesus Shine together as a family. For a YouTube version with music and lyrics click here
Gospel Reflections for Married Couples in the Year of Mercy
In today’s Gospel, Peter, James and John experience the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. It was an intense mystical experience and the reading ends with the words “the disciples kept silence and, at that time, told no one what they had seen.”
Take some time to share with your spouse the moments in your marriage when you’ve had a transformative experience; a moment that you cherish and perhaps have told no one. For some couples this may have been an intimate moment or the birth of a child.
Share with your spouse your experience. (A Reflection by Karen and Derek Boylen)
Works of Mercy
‘I Was Sick and You Visited Me’
When people are sick, they do not feel pain in their body alone. They can also experience loneliness and fear. For some, their sickness is only temporary while for others it can be the start of their final experience of life.
In the past, sick and elderly people were generally looked after at home where friends and family were often present. In modern times, hospitals and nursing homes have become places where many sick and elderly people spend their time. This change in location can leave the sick and the elderly feeling socially isolated.
Here are some ways in which families can help cheer up the sick and the elderly:
- Patiently care for anyone in your home who is feeling sick;
- Visit any sick/elderly members of your family this Lent;
- Volunteer to take Holy Communion to the sick or elderly; and
- Visit a local nursing home and sing some songs to the elderly.
For more ideas on how to live out this work of mercy click here
Vegetarian Recipe for Fridays in Lent
How does Creamy Potato Lasagne sound?
For more information including ingredients and cooking instructions click here
Saint of Mercy: St Damien of Molokai (born 1840, died 1889)
Feast Day: 11 October
St Damien of Molokai was born in Belgium in 1840. He joined the Sacred Hearts Fathers in 1860 and in 1864 was sent to Hawaii. In 1873, he volunteered to go to the leper colony on Molokai. Nobody wanted this job because people were scared of getting leprosy.
Damien cared for lepers of all ages, but was particularly concerned about the children segregated in the colony. He built hospitals, clinics, and churches, and some 600 coffins in the colony.
His work transformed the colony into a place of hope for its members. In 1885 he caught leprosy but continued to minister to the lepers until he died on Molokai in 1889.
For information about the Diocese of Parramatta’s Family & Life Office visit www.parrafamlife.org.au