THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT 2021
As our Lenten journey continues, this week’s theme is Almsgiving,
We should strive to keep our hearts open to the sufferings and wretchedness of other people and pray continually that God may grant us that spirit of compassion which is truly the spirit of God.” Saint Vincent de Paul
Almsgiving is not a word that we often use today. It is the traditional term used for the Lenten discipline along with prayer and fasting. The more familiar terms ‘acts of charity or ‘acts of love’ are frequently used in its’ place today.
For many people, it means giving money to charities or some other good cause. But the concept of almsgiving goes much deeper. In the gospels Jesus central message to us is to love one another. (John 3:11). He also asks us to care for others as if they are Son of God. He tells his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).It is our response to the teachings of Jesus that encourage us to reach out to people in need—not just with our money—but with our time and our talents.
During Lent we are asked to give more intently. This gives us the opportunity to grow in a spirit of generosity,. Lent gives us a chance to focus on sharing what we have and who we are with other people. It puts us in communion with others and helps us understand that we are all members of the Body of Christ. Despite the challenging times we find ourselves in, it also gives us the opportunity to be grateful and give thanks for what we already have.
Almsgiving is an act of love that can deepen our prayer life and bring a greater sense of meaning to fasting. It allows us to step outside of ourselves and focus on the needs of others. t’s about making a sacrifice that echoes the self-giving love of God. And it’s about returning that love; all our acts of love for others are ultimately acts of love for God. In the end, all of our Lenten practices are meant to draw us closer to Christ. The stories of His life in the Gospels show that He always showed a special preference for those who are poor, and almsgiving is one way we can follow Him more closely.
Some ideas for ‘ Acts of charity
Donate to Trocaire or a local charity
Check in on a friend to see if they need help or a listening ear.
Drop a Parish newsletter into an eldery neighbour
Cook a meal for a neighbour or friend that lives alone.
When out walking greet people you meet with a smile or a ‘hello’
Volunteer at a Food Shelter
Lent is a time to think of others
Times are difficult for everyone at the moment particularly the most vulnerable people in the world. During Lent perhaps we can support the Lenten Campaign of Trocaire.
Trócaire turns the compassion of the Irish people into life-changing support for some of the world’s poorest people.
They work in partnership with communities in over 20 countries to relieve poverty and tackle injustice.
God of All Peoples,
You have given us one common origin,
and your will is to gather all humanity as one family in yourself.
Fill our hearts with the fire of your love
and the desire to ensure justice for all our brothers and sisters.
By sharing the good things you give us,
may we secure justice and equality for every human being,
an end to all division and a human society built on love and peace.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever,
Trocaire parish Lenten resources 2021
A Celtic Prayer
is a beautiful piece of music that reminds us that we follow Jesus’ example as we reach out to others in his name.
Readings for the Third Sunday in Lent
Liturgical Colour: Violet.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 2:13-25
Just before the Jewish Passover Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money changers sitting at their counters there. Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money changers’ coins, knocked their tables over and said to the pigeon-sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.’ Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me. The Jews intervened and said, ‘What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?’ Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said.
During his stay in Jerusalem for the Passover many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he gave, but Jesus knew them all and did not trust himself to them; he never needed evidence about any man; he could tell what a man had in him.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection on the gospel ‘You are the Body of Christ’
Prayer suggestion for this week
Merciful God open our hearts to your love
so that we may be compassionate to others,
especially those who are on the margins of society.
Lead us in your ways so that all your people
will have fruitful and fulfilling lives. Amen