Lent - the Christian Journey

Pope Frances calls Lent the stairway of mercy. This Christian journey leads us towards Pentecost and the gift of the Holy Spirit, for it is a journey led by the Spirit and fulfilled by the Spirit. The Lenten season commenced yesterday with Ash Wednesday when we were marked with ashes as a reminder for us to live the way Jesus wants. Lent is a special time when we stop and think about how we can play our part in God's hope for a world that is fair, just and peaceful. Deacon Damien reminded us that we can connect with God through living lives that are built on honesty, forgiveness, kindness and truth for God's love is ever present and always there for us.

The community was also reminded of Jesus' journey to Calvary and the mercy he showed despite his suffering. During the next forty days we take time to reflect on our lives and say sorry for any wrong doing. This repentance and reflection helps to lead us towards a meaningful Easter. It is a time when we can think about the changes we can make in our lives, to be God's love and mercy in our world.

Gracious God,

In this season of Lent we wait patiently like Jesus in the wilderness.

We ask you to bless us with your gifts of openness, flexibility and trust.

Liberate us from all our fears and worries.

May we always be the Body of Christ

Blessed, broken and given to a world hungry for your truth, compassion, mercy and justice.

Amen

Nine students from our College attended the Project Compassion Mass and Social Justice Initiatives at St Stephen's Cathedral on Tuesday 13 February. This was an opportunity for our students to connect with the story of Project Compassion and learn further ways to provide outreach and service in our College community. As part of the Mass our College Justice Captain, Ama Sam was commissioned as a leader and we congratulate her on this occassion.

Students this week also prepared for the seasons of lent through a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Stall. Students sold pancakes with various spreads and toppings as part of fundraising for Project Compassion. We thank the staff and students involved in this initiative and we look forward to continuing to raise money and awareness for Caritas Australia as part of our Project Compassion Appeal.

As part of our preparation for the season of Lent we gathered as a College community to commemorate Ash Wednesday. We extend our thanks to Deacon Damien for joining us on this occasion. Below in an extract from Deacon Damien's Homily with an important message for this Lenten season:

As Australians, we are all too familiar with the terms of Reconciliation and Healing. We know how reconciliation and healing can change our country and our world. 

Ash Wednesday is a time for us to reflect on how we can become better people if we believe in all the goodness and love that God has provided for us to share with one another.

As we receive these holy Ashes, may they serve as a reminder for us that God's love remains always with us.  God's love has always been simple and pure. 

There is no greater symbol of God's love than the empty cross - one which shows that Jesus has overcome all suffering. 

These Ashes are not only a reminder of our human frailty and weakness, but of the loving gift of creation with which God made for us to enjoy.  May your Lenten journey be sacred, meaningful and blessed.  The power of the cross gives all of us hope for a better future, one with Jesus Christ who claims us for himself.