Resources for Lent “This Lent – Our Baptism”

Resources for Lent “This Lent – Our Baptism”

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A Prayer for Lent

O gracious Master, infuse in our hearts the spotless light of Your Divine Wisdom and open the eyes of our mind that we may understand the teachings of Your Gospel. Instill in us also the fear of Your blessed commandments, so that having curbed all carnal desires, we may lead a spiritual life, both thinking and doing everything to please You. For You, O Christ, our God, are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies; and to You we render glory, together with Your eternal Father, and with Your all holy, life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and forever.

 

 

 

 

“This Lent- Our Baptism” 

 

 

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

I am writing to ask each parish in the diocese to highlight Baptism this Lent. I invite you to a renewed appreciation of what it means to be baptised.

In the early days of Christianity, Lent was the time of final preparation for adults who were to be baptised at the Easter Vigil. In recent years, some parishes have had a similar experience – welcoming adults into the Church and accompanying them towards their baptism at Easter. This has a powerful effect on others in the community, putting them back in touch with their own Baptism.

My invitation for this Lent is that all of us, across the diocese, would take this time to come to a new sense of being baptised in Christ. If we take this opportunity, we can then renew our Baptism promises at Easter in the most meaningful way.

Some parishes have done great work to make Baptism more visible and prominent in their churches. But, more often than not, it is not visible. It can even be absent from our consciousness. Baptism can be something that happened ‘back then’ rather than something we are living now.   I hope that this Lent many of us will move from thinking that ‘I was baptised’ to realising that ‘I am baptised’. I hope that this will be a time for many of us to reconnect with our own Baptism and to reawaken its power.

Today, our churchgoing communities are surrounded by a larger community where many were baptised but, for one reason or another, are not now in touch with that grace. A Christian community which has a living sense of being a baptised people will be a more attractive witness to others. Its attractiveness can prompt others to re-awaken Baptism in their lives.

I wish to express my appreciation for the wonderful ministry of the Baptism teams in our parishes. Their engagement with young families is critically important. When we as a Christian community are animated about our own Baptism, it reinforces what they do and multiplies its effect.

I encourage you to avail of the resources now available here. I hope that you will find them helpful as we seek to bring Baptism to the centre of our Christian lives and our Christian communities.

 

With prayerful good wishes

+Diarmuid Martin

Archbishop of Dublin

Diocesan Lenten Resources

 

This Lent Parishes are invited to highlight Baptism 

WEEK THREE – PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

In this Sunday’s gospel, someone wants to cut down a tree he planted because it has been bearing no fruit. The one who takes care of the vineyard says, ‘leave it one more year… give me time’. This contains a very encouraging message about our Baptism.

Imagine that each of our lives as Christians is like a book. The title could be; ‘My Life – the Story of my Baptism’. My Baptism is not just something that happened in chapter one. It is the theme running through every chapter. Each chapter is about what happens on our Baptism journey; the discoveries, the wrong paths, the new turns.

The final chapters have yet to be written. But sometimes we get this wrong. We think, because of some failure, some wrong path, that ‘that is it’, all there is to me. This is where the Gospel comes in. Jesus believes in second chances – more time, new chapters. He believes that something new is possible.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation has been called the ‘Baptism of tears’. Originally we were baptised with water. Our lives are never perfect. But there is always a future, another chapter. The ‘tears’ are our sorrow and wanting to move on, to be a better ‘me’. In those tears, the waters of Baptism pour over us again, the Holy Spirit washes over us again – and a new chapter has begun.

 

 

WEEK THREE – HOMILY HEADINGS

  • Today’s gospel message; ‘leave it one more year… give me time’. It is about second chances – and that is a big part of what our Baptism is about.
  • The image of a book for our Christian life. Baptism is the theme of every chapter, not just something in chapter one.
  • When we take a wrong path, there are still more chapters to be written. We can never be ‘written off’. With Jesus, there is always a second chance.
  • The ‘Baptism of tears’ – our tears of sorrow for wrong paths, tears full of desire to be better people – a new chapter in our Baptism story.

 

WEEK THREE  – PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL

These are two suggestions for the intercessions;

  • As we continue on our Lenten journey, may we accept the surprise of Jesus’ forgiveness and the fresh start it gives us to live out our baptism.
  • For all in our Christian community. May we take the opportunities Lent gives us to change and to become better people.

 

WEEK THREE – NEWSLETTER INSERT

The reflection above could be copied into the parish newsletter. Or you could use the following shortened version;

Imagine that each of our lives as Christians is like a book. The title could be; ‘My Life – the Story of my Baptism’. My Baptism is not just something that happened in chapter one. It is the theme running through every chapter. Each chapter is about what happens on our Baptism journey; the discoveries, the wrong paths, the new turns.

The final chapters have yet to be written. But when we fail, sometimes we think that is it – the final chapter, no more to be said. This is where today’s Gospel comes in. Jesus believes in second chances – more time, new chapters. He believes that something new is possible.

There is a ‘Baptism of tears’. The ‘tears’ are our sorrow for wrong paths taken and our wanting to move on, to be a better ‘me’. In those tears, the waters of Baptism pour over us again, the Holy Spirit washes over us again – and a new chapter begins.

 

The Catholic Communications Office has also published a special feature for Lent 2019  which can be accessed directly at the following link: https://www.catholicbishops.ie/2019/03/04/resources-for-lent-2019/    

 

 

 

 

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR LENT 2019 

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (Rm 8: 19)

Appealing to the faithful to not allow this season of grace to pass in vain, Pope Francis says that if, “the Lent of the Son of God ‘was an entry into the desert of creation to make it become again that garden of communion with God” that it was before the original sin, Christians today are invited “to embody the paschal mystery more deeply and concretely in their personal, family and social lives, above all by fasting, prayer and almsgiving.”

Click here to read the full text of the Pope’s message.