Broc’s Blog

Lent 2019 General imageFor the creation waits with eager longing  for the revealing of the children of God” (Rm 8: 19)

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Each year, through Mother Church, God “gives us this joyful season when we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed… as we recall the great events that gave us new life in Christ” (Preface of Lent I). We can thus journey from Easter to Easter towards the fulfilment of the salvation we have already received as a result of Christ’s paschal mystery – “for in hope we were saved” (Rom 8:24). This mystery of salvation, already at work in us during our earthly lives, is a dynamic process that also embraces history and all of creation. As Saint Paul says, “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (Rom 8:19). In this perspective, I would like to offer a few reflections to accompany our journey of conversion this coming Lent.

pope cyberbullyingArchbishop Eamon Martin warmly welcomed the content of Pope Francis’ message, published today on the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales, for World Communications Day 2019.  This annual celebration will be marked on Ascension Sunday, 2 June.  This year’s theme: ‘We are members one of another (Eph 4:25) From social network communities to the human community’ highlights the importance of the internet and social media as a resource, but also emphasises the risks that accompany it, in terms of the sharing of authentic information and the increase of cyberbullying among young people.

In his message today, Pope Francis tells us that, “the metaphor of the net recalls another meaningful image: the community”, but that at present, “social network communities are not automatically synonymous with community”.  A community is one that thrives on mutual listening and dialogue.  Pope Francis notes in particular that “young people are the ones most exposed to the illusion that the social web can completely satisfy them on a relational level.  There is the dangerous phenomenon of young people becoming ‘social hermits’ who risk alienating themselves completely from society.  This dramatic situation reveals a serious rupture in the relational fabric of society, one we cannot ignore.”  He goes on to say that, “while governments seek legal ways to regulate the web and to protect the original vision of a free, open and secure network, we all have the possibility and the responsibility to promote its positive use.”  Pope Francis suggests that a possible answer can be drawn from the words of Saint Paul, “Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth, each to his neighbour, for we are members one of another” (Eph 4:25).

birth of jesusWhile Christmas is the birthday of Jesus, that may or may not be what we are celebrating. In countries where Christian faith is the root of our culture, many who are no longer believers, no longer Christian, still celebrate Christmas.

Christmas tugs at the heart. It lures us into its spirit. What is it that draws us? Is it just memory, memory of childhood and Christmases past? Is it nostalgia for a world that once was but is no more? Why are presents and presence, giving gifts and being with others, being grateful and belonging so much part of this time of year?  Attending to what is going on in our minds and hearts, reflecting on what we are doing and why, is one of the most precious gifts of Christmas. Christmas invites us to listen.