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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 5th March 2017 Posted on Sunday 5 March 2017

First Sunday of Lent
Lenten Reflection: Ours is a vibrant culture, always in pursuit of happiness. Death is an obscenity, hidden by cascades of flowers and relegated to remote burial lawns on the edge of town. Sin is denied, camouflaged, psychoanalysed, and repressed—not confessed. We don’t really sin. We make mistakes of judgment. If a popular politician lies, he or she is only being human. Lent is a time to look at such temptations, sin and the consequences. Originally Lent was the season when those about to be baptised repented of their sins and sought to know the Lord Jesus more intimately. Then it became a season for the baptised to do the same. We are challenged to die to sin so that we may rise again to the new life in Christ. Since the Church begins the season with a reflection on the origins of sin among us, the main themes in today’s readings are temptation, sin, guilt and forgiveness. We are told of the temptations offered to our Lord, submission to which would have destroyed his mission.

Today’s readings give us the notion that testing comes to us by an agency apart from and in opposition to God. But the truth is that, while testing comes from the outside, temptation comes from within ourselves. However, the good news is that, though we are tempted and often succumb, God’s grace provides the way of salvation for us. The ultimate temptations in life are NOT those that push us to “do” things we aren’t supposed to “do,” but to “be” persons we weren’t made to be.

We are planning a series of four Lenten talks on Wednesday evenings in Lent on the celebration of the Mass. These will start from 15th March each week until 5th April. There will be more details and a poster about this from the weekend.

This Sunday afternoon at 3pm we welcome adults from across the Diocese who have been preparing to be received into full communion with the catholic church. The final steps for them on this journey is to be welcomed and blessed by the Archbishop at the beginning of Lent and then to be baptised or confirmed in their home parishes during the Easter celebrations.

This Sunday there is also an extra evening service at St Vincent’s Church at 6.30pm with Lutheran Neighbours from the Nordic and German churches incorporating the performance of a Bach Lenten Cantata with choir and musical ensemble.

You will have noticed that a number of large cabins had been parked outside on the hard standing area adjacent to the entrance to the Cathedral Car Park during the last few weeks. This was to be the works compound for the project to carry out external repairs to the paving areas on the podium and the steps around the Cathedral. Unfortunately this work will not be going ahead at this time due to miscalculations made within the contractors tender for the work. Not our mistake but theirs. Therefore the work will now need to be re- tendered and the project postponed until the autumn and the works cabins are due to be removed before this weekend. So thankfully we have that extra car parking space once more.

Please note that next Friday is Family Fast day – there will be a second collection to support the work of CAFOD next weekend.