Our Lady Queen of Heaven
Catholic Church, Harwich, Essex

First, Second and Third Sunday of Lent 26 February, 5 and 12 Match 2023

First Sunday of Lent (Matthew 4:1-11)

Jesus, filled with the Spirit received at his baptism, is now led by the same Spirit to the place of encounter with the devil. He who was willing to undergo the baptism usually reserved for sinners now submits to the challenge of evil. He who showed solidarity with sinners now confronts the power of sin.. The sinless one, who comes to save sinners, is tempted, for Jesus in his humanity has the same power of choice that we have. While we frequently succumb to the lure of evil, Jesus never does.

From where does Jesus derive his strength in his battle with evil?

To what extent do the Scriptures inspire my decisions?

Pray for the courage to unmask the deceptive power of evil.

Pray for the wisdom to reject selfishness and the strength to confront evil.

Second Sunday in Lent (Matthew 17:1-9)

The Transfiguration recounts an experience of Jesus which three disciples shared, but which they are told must remain secret until after he has risen from the dead. The experience astonishes the disciples, for they see Jesus transformed, transfigured as they have never seen him before. In the gospel story Jesus has just told his disciples that he foresees his own passion and death. The transfiguration serves to put their fear in a broader context, giving these three disciples a glimpse of something beyond suffering and death.

How might the story of he transfiguration give us hope?

Have I ever experienced anything like transfiguration in my own life?

We pray that we may persevere min trust, like Jesus and Abraham.

We pray for a broader vision, that we may be more aware of the things of God, and of God’s goodness.

Third Sunday of Lent (John 4:5-42)

This passage from John helps to prepare us for Easter and the celebration of our new life in Jesus Christ. The Samaritan woman’s journey reflects our own journey of faith. Water gives life. The ‘living water’ given by Jesus points to eternal life. As the dialogue continues it is established that Jesus is not only a prophet, but the Messiah. The woman’s eyes are gradually opening, enough for her to tell her townspeople. At the end they too come to believe, not simply due to her testimony but because thy have themselves heard the preaching of Jesus.

How is the Samaritan woman a model for our faith journey?

Are we also sometimes slow to understand the gifts of God?

We pray that we may worship the Lord in spirit and truth.

We pray for the courage to lead others to Christ, the teacher who gives us ‘living water’.


                                                                                                                                          Fr Adrian Graffy