Our Lady Queen of Heaven
Catholic Church, Harwich, Essex

Fourth Sunday of Lent 19 March, Fifth Sunday of Lent 26 March and Palm Sunday 2 April 2023

Fourth Sunday of Lent (John 9:1-41)

This week we have the story of the man born blind. A story of a journey in faith, which invites us to consider our own journey. The words of Jesus gives us the theme: Jesus is the Light of the World. Like the man born blind, we too have the opportunity of seeing again, seeing with greater clarity.

This man has to defend the reality of the healing. Yes, he was blind from birth and yes, he has been given his sight. He bears witness to Jesus more and more strongly. In the end it is clear that there are none so blind as those who will not see.

What might we learn from the courageous witness of the man born blind?

Am I to some extent still blind and unwilling to see?

We pray for those who are still seeking the light and discouraged by darkness.

We pray for all those to be baptised at Easter.

Fifth Sunday in Lent (John 11:1-45)

This Sunday we have the raising of Lazarus. The theme: Jesus is the resurrection and the life. No wonder he goes on to restore earthly life to Lazarus as a sign of the life to come.. This shows us the glory of God and strengthens faith. This provokes strong opposition from the religious leaders who plot to destroy Jesus. The one who gives life will have life torn from him in return.

How does this story prepare us for the celebration of the Easter mystery?

In what sense is this the greatest of the signs worked by Jesus?

We pray that we may understand and truly believe that God is the God of life.

We ask for the grace to live the time of Christ’s passion and death to the full.

Passion (Palm) Sunday (Matthew 26:14-27:66)

The words of Jesus show how deep is his anguish. At his death Jesus freely gives up his spirit.

The death of the Son of God heralds new life, not only for Jesus, but also for the saints who sleep in death. Those guarding Jesus and the Centurion join in a chorus of awe-struck faith at the death of Jesus. Thus, implying that Jesus brings new life both to Jewish saints and to gentile soldiers, in other words, to all.

What are the striking features of the story of the passion as told by Matthew?

Take time this week to read the whole of Matthew’s account of the death of Christ.

We pray that our Holy Week will prepare us for the gift of new life at Easter.

We join Christians throughout the world in living these holy days to the full.


                                                                                                                                          Fr Adrian Graffy