This is the third week of Lent. The Caritas theme for lent in 2015 is Light a Fire in the Heart of the World, taken from Pope Francis' letter Evangelii Gaudium (which asks us to be witnesses at all times and in all places to the joy and hope of the Gospel).
How can we be witnesses to the joy and hope of the Gospel? Traditionally, in Lent we've talked about giving something up. But we can also choose to do something extra. When we choose to be witnesses to the joy and hope of the Gospel we are choosing to live a life without bitterness and blame. We can choose to find the best in people rather than the worst, to refrain from comments which bring others down (whether they hear them or not), and to approach life with a sense of optimism. This can be extremely difficult, especially in tough life circumstances. Yet the people whom we naturally tend to admire the most are those who have overcome obstacles and cheerfully worked towards positive goals. This is a sense of "giving up," of letting go of the negative voice, the pessimistic attitude that hovers in the background ready to soak up joy. If all Christians could consciously and consistently give this up and face the trials of life with realism, fortitude and joy this would be a real way of showing what it means to be disciples this Lent.
|Logo for the Joy and Hope campaign|
Each week in Lent, Caritas offers a special prayer:
Week 3: Jesus turns the money changers out of the Temple/Pacific Environment Report
Creator God, Kaihanga o te Ao, you created the earth as a sanctuary for all. Teach us to value the earth, not just as a source of profit for some, but as a resource to be cared for, shared and protected for the benefit of all.