Second Sunday of Lent
The Gospel reading for this Sunday of Lent is Saint Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration. It took the Apostles a long time to get to know Jesus and there were significant moments when their friendship was deepened by discovering more about him. Their discipleship was deepened when he was transfigured on the mountain and they saw His divinity revealed. They would get to know Him better again after this when Jesus revealed that he would suffer and die in Jerusalem, even though they did not understand what this would mean at the time. They would get to know Jesus better again during the Last Supper, His Agony in Gethsemane, his Passion, Death and Resurrection. The entire time the Apostles were with Jesus they were getting to know him better realising what following him as disciples meant. It is the same for us. As Peter, James and John saw Jesus’ divinity revealed their attitudes were transformed so we are encouraged to accept that Lent is for us an opportunity to transform ourselves and our attitudes so that we can see Jesus more clearly.
Last week I was handed a collection of alternative Cathedral welcome leaflets which had been designed by year 5 pupils from a class at St Paul’s Junior School, West Derby. They had obviously been doing research on the Cathedral in view of the Jubilee Year and the project culminated in the production of these leaflets incorporating, their own texts, art work and varying folded designs. I have to say that I had a very enjoyable hour reading through them all and they were really good, full of interesting details and entertaining to read. For instance how about this for a short and sweet historical summary “The Cathedral used to be a workhouse. The first Bishop was George Brown. Then the Irish came and decided we needed a Cathedral. It took four attempts to be perfect!”
Another described that “the second attempt cost £27 million and they didn’t have that much” Referring to the Golden Book one leaflet suggests that “It is a book that if you die you can put your name in it” and another suggests that “there are 17 Books because everyone wants to get their name in it but you must be dead”. Many included spiritual encouragement such as ‘Come to one of our masses and do it for free!- If everyone went to church it would be a better place.” But this was the text that really hit home “The Cathedral is not just about mass, it is a very lovely place to visit an amazing experience as it is big, colourful, beautiful and peaceful. It would be recommended by lots of Catholics and non Catholics, trust me! It can hold funerals and weddings and masses. They also have some fun things in there like festivals and concerts, and car boots and prizes. Go and visit, you will love it and all people are invited, if you’re not a Christian it doesn’t matter God made us all the same. Go and tell your friends and family!” The front covers were wonderfully colourful – my favourite bore the title “The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral – Open the door to Christ.” I hope the children enjoyed creating them as much as I enjoyed reading them – we will put them on display in the near future.
Next Sunday at the Solemn Mass we will be reflecting on the life of the late Archbishop Oscar Romero on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth. The cause for his canonisation seems to be moving along rapidly in view of the witness of his life and tragic martyrdom. Archbishop Malcolm will preside at this mass and he will bless a specially commissioned bust of Archbishop Romero which will be placed within our Cathedral.