This week, on Ash Wednesday, we set off together into the period of Lent – the forty days of reflection and preparation that lead up to the greatest Feast of the church’s year – the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord on Easter Sunday.
What is Lent for? It is, as we have said, a period of preparation, we need to make ourselves ready, to be in a fit state to greet the glorious news that Jesus has risen!
How do we make ourselves ready? What do we need to do? In the past we have talked about giving something up; however shouldn’t we also be thinking more about giving something, doing something extra? Perhaps making the effort to come to the Stations of the Cross or to attend an extra Mass.
The Stations of the Cross tell the story of a journey that started with Pilate washing his hands and finishes with the body of Jesus being laid in the tomb, but as we know this is not the end of the story.
I love the Stations; I remember as a lad gong to the church each week after school, hoping that I would be asked to carry the cross!
Let us use this time in Lent to take a look at ourselves, let us remember in the story those who were prepared to help Jesus as he struggled to carry his cross; Simon of Cyrene and Veronica; and ask ourselves whether if we saw someone in such a state whether we would be prepared to extend a hand of friendship. In our world today are we extending a hand or are we keeping our arms folded and just looking on?