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Past copies of ‘The last Word are available  From  the  Web-master

LAST WORD

SUNDAY 1st. MARCH  2020.


THEME: CLOTHED BY GOD

1: A change for Spring.




With Christmas behind us and having turned after Candlemas to face the cross we are entering Lent and the coming of Spring.

  

  At this time of the year as the sun rises higher and earth begins the warming up process, new life begins in nature. The warmth calls plants to start to grow and begin their push through the hardened winter earth in order to be reborn into the new life as they burst through the surface and are exposed to the power of the spring sunlight.


  The warmer weather makes us think about what to wear. We consider casting off those heavy coats and extra sweaters and exchange them for lighter garments.


   I wonder if any of us have favourite jumpers we keep wearing year after year and with which we are very loath to part. We might find them comforting in some way, rather like a child with a comfort blanket. They reassure us in some way and give us confidence.


  In our Spiritual lives Lent also causes us to make changes. We are called to cast off some of those unhelpful characteristics with which we cloth ourselves and use to help us to weather the storms in life but can hinder our exposure to the love of God.

  

 We are afraid that if we let go of these emotional props we won’t cope and will lose part of ourselves, who we are.


  Yet Our Lord calls us to cast them off and to let Jesus re-clothe us with the garments of salvation:

   Romans 13. 14 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.


     What will we cast off during our Lenten observances this year?


Lenten Blessings, Sr. Marian






    

 

 

              

SUNDAY 15th. MARCH  2020.

LENT 3


3: Clothed by Jesus.


Last week we considered what characteristics we needed to ‘cast off’ for Lent.

This week let’s think about the characteristics the Bible suggests we wear.


 In Galatians 3:26-27, Paul writes that "in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through

 faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ."

Therefore, everyone who has committed their life to Christ by faith has the status of

having "put on Christ."


Then in Rom 13:14, the command is to "put on" certain godly characteristics that are a reflection of Christ himself: "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience"


  Clothing imagery is also used to describes the transformation of our bodies that will take place when we are resurrected from the dead. Paul explains that "this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality


  We are also advised to cloth ourselves with the ‘armour’ of God as protection. That is found in

Ephesians 6:10-18. The armour consists of: the belt of truth buckled around our waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place and our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition, we are to take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all that the evil one throws at us. Finally, we have the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.


   I would imagine that some of us are afraid that by completely re-clothing ourselves in Jesus we will no longer be ourselves. That is far from the truth. It is only when we allow God to change us that we become the people He meant us to be. Far from not being ourselves we will one day become perfect, created completely pure and holy free from all that has corrupted us in life. The real you and the real me.


Blessings,

  Sr. Marian.



                

 

    

LAST WORD

SUNDAY 8th. MARCH  2020.

LENT 2

 

 2: Casting off!

What do we need to cast off in order to answer God’s call to new Spiritual growth and life?

 Throughout our lives we clutter ourselves up with worldly problems that can have an adverse effect, on our spiritual lives. For example, we often fail to let go old hurts that we have receive and often seek vengeance of some kind. Such behaviour can stunt Spiritual development and growth as well as affecting us physically.


 An example of Biblical teaching on this can be found In Romans 13. 12. -13, Paul says this The night is nearly over; the day has drawn near. So let us lay aside the deeds of darkness …Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.…

  and

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us.

   If we incumber ourselves with such clothing they will hamper our performance as Christians. We can compare this with the athlete who removes clothing that will slow him or her down in their race. We need to remove all those spiritual thIngs we wear that affects our race as Christian Athletes striving to reach the end and win for ourselves the wreathe of victory from The Lord.

  During Lent we are asked with God’s help to rid ourselves of the sins that most beset us and constantly affect our relationships with each other and ultimately with God.

   What fills the wardrobe of your life and mine? It is time for a clear out so that by Easter we can re- fill them with spiritual clothing more appropriate for representatives of God and His Kingdom. I can imagine that however much we throw out, we will leave behind, carefully concealed somewhere something we just cannot let go.

    If that is so then all we can do is meditatively hand them over to Jesus Who will deal with them when we cannot.   


May Our Lord help us to be willing to let go and let Him be in control.

Sr. Marian.


.”




                                                   

SUNDAY 22nd. MARCH  2020.

LENT 4                       

 4: A Mother’s choice.


                                         An important role of a mother is to care for the clothing their children wear.

                                         She wants them to keep warm in winter and cool in summer. She knows

                                         the appropriate dress they are expected by society and culture to wear

                                         for different occasions. She advises on what is acceptable and what is not.

  

   There comes a day when their children want to make their own choices as to what they will put on. This can cause conflicts in relationships in families. We all know of situations when the remark is made, ‘She isn’t going out in that is she!’

   It can be very hard to let go and let our children make their own mistakes and to live with the consequences.


    The despairing and frustrated parent needs to be patient. Some think that it is not what the child wears that matters but what that child is like as a person. Clothing after all is only an outward appearance and can portray the wrong message. With children it often speaks of them wanting to be a part of their peer group.


   In our spiritual lives mum and dad guide and advise us through childhood. Some would like the child clothed in the ‘family’ image’ of Christ. Others have a more lenient approach teaching right from wrong and allowing the children freedom of choice. This could mean a time when the child becomes the prodigal and apparently lost.


   Like the father in the parable, both mum and dad, keep the child in their hearts waiting for the day when he or she will return and  in whatever condition that may be. Underneath the rags or riches, their child is there.


   This Mothering Sunday let us pray for all families looking out for returning wayward children remembering that in the love of God, they can be re-born into Christ’s family and clothed in His love and forgiveness and one day may chose for themselves to change into the spiritual clothing of the Christian.


    It is always important to remember that the parents need to teach by example and to always wear the

 love of God which is the source of patience, caring, forgiveness and reconciliation that accepts us

just as we are.


Many Blessings,

   Sr. Marian.

  



LENT 1

HOME PAGE

PASSION SUNDAY

    

 5: Naked before God.

Job 1: 21 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.

                                                 It was at the time for His crucifixion that the human Jesus suffered the humiliation of being                                                  stripped naked before the crowds before being nailed to the cross.It shows us Jesus at His                                                  most vulnerable and at a time He was to feel absolute desolation and the absence of His                                                  Heavenly Father.


   Here we see the Son of God and all He gave up for us such as power, wealth, riches, prestige, Kingship, Godhead, dignity, riches worldly adoration, security, home and family.


   Naked He came into the world as a tiny helpless baby, born into a humble home and laid in a manger. Now naked He would leave the world. Yet we know that ultimately the Father would raise Him to a new life with a new body and restore Him to power and glory enthroned on His right to be judge of all the world.  


   Whatever we do, we can hide nothing from God. We can buy clothes today which are designed to hide our physical flaws. We can pretend to be the people we want others to think we are. Some people wear uniforms which aid the persona they wish to present to the world. However, underneath it all, we are still ourselves.


   We are called to the spiritual life of selflessness and humility that puts others before ourselves, seeking their good before our own. We are called to strip off the I in our lives and to be clothed with the love and humility of Jesus.


   We come into our world naked and we begin to be clothed by the world. We are influenced from all directions and all this, plays a part in the people we will become.


  The church offers us alternatives. We are called to put off our human nature and to be re-clothed in the divine. We can’t fool God. Pretence is pointless. Following Jesus can lead to our own humiliation in one kind or another. However, what we sacrifice now will be restored when we too are raised to a new life, clothed with a different body and given a place in the Kingdom of God where Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us.


  May we be unafraid to expose ourselves as Christian to the world, humbly accepting the cost and willingly carrying our own crosses because Jesus gave His life for us.


Sr. Marian