Our Lady Queen of Heaven
Catholic Church, Harwich, Essex

Fourth and Fifth Sunday of Lent and Palm Sunday 10, 17 and 24 March 2024

Fourth Sunday of Lent (John 3:14-21)

In the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, Jesus explains privately to a Jew the significance of the Coming of the Son of God.

The raising up of the Son of God speaks both of his death on the cross and of his resurrection. His death is considered glorious, leading inevitably to resurrection and triumph. This is the clearest proof of the love of God for the world. People are called to respond in faith. It is by God’s grace that we are saved, through faith. God saves us if only we will allow it. To refuse Christ knowingly is to refuse salvation.

Like Nicodemus, we are free to choose the light or to prefer darkness. We will live by truth, if we allow Jesus to lead us ever deeper into the truth.

Where do you need the light to shine in your life?

What does ‘living by the truth’ mean?

Let us pray for those who are discovering the truth of Christ.

Let us pray for those who struggle to see and accept the light.


Fourth Sunday of Lent (John 12:20-23)

As we draw close to Holy Week this passage is particularly apt. The arrival of some Greeks shows how the ministry of Jesus breaks the bounds of Judaism. Their coming allows Jesus to speak of this hour and his willingness to give his life for all. The seed which must die to produce a harvest is a powerful image of his death. A voice is heard from the cloud and speaks of the ‘glory’ that will come to Jesus for giving up his life. It is in his death and resurrection that he draws all people to himself, both Jew and Greek.

Do I still desire to ‘see Jesus’ and learn about him?

Whom have I brought to Jesus recently?

Let us pray for the mission of the church to the nations of the world.

Let us pray for a deeper faith and love as we approach the ‘hour’ of Jesus in Holy Week.


Passion (Palm Sunday  (Mark 14:1-15:47)

Mark’s verses are punctuated by references to the time of day. Jesus is crucified ‘at the third hour’. Roman reckoning of day-time hours began with 6am, so this is 9am. The darkness over the earth begins at noon. Jesus ‘breathes his last’ at 3pm.

Three groups mock Jesus, anonymous passers-by, the chief priests and the scribes. Mark tells us that ‘even those who were crucified with him taunted him’.

Jesus’ final words are words of abandonment. The Son of God, who comes to share our life and give his life for us, drinks the cup of suffering to the depth out of love for his brothers and sisters. And thus, he dies.

What are the memorable features of Mark’s story of the death of Jesus?

Take time this week to read the complete story of the death of Jesus as told by Mark.

Let us enter fully into the events of Holy Week sop that we may be renewed in Christ’s resurrection.

We pray that he self-giving love of Christ for all will change minds and hearts.


                                                                                                                   Fr Adrian Graffy