from the diocesan website.
Pastoral Letter - to be read in all parishes
1st Sunday of Lent - (weekend of 9th/10th February)
My Dear People,
Today, we are invited to set out on a journey to Easter, to renew our Baptismal promises to bring us into communion with the Lord Jesus, “who has died, is risen and will come again”. We are invited as God’s pilgrim people to enter, like Jesus, into that desert where we too can take on the discipline of Lent. On Ash Wednesday we received the ashes and the Gospel challenged us to take up the journey of prayer, fasting, almsgiving.
We are not alone on this journey! We walk in communion with each other, with our families, our friends and our fellow parishioners. Most especially we walk in communion with the Lord, who leads us into the love of the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit.
This Lent, discover anew the Lord Jesus who is the hope of your lives. Today, on this first Sunday of Lent, He is revealed to us as the new Adam, the one who overcomes sin and evil. He is the one who serves, who is obedient to the Father, whose way is love, justice and peace. But how do we discover anew Jesus in our lives?
I invite you this year, to look to Mary, the mother of Jesus, as an example of one who follows Jesus faithfully. She is “the” disciple, the one who says “yes”. I invite you to join with Mary in pondering the scriptures and in saying "yes" to the prompting of the spirit in your own heart. Seek the intercession of Mary this year as we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Apparition of Mary to Bernadette in Lourdes. Many parishes, individuals and families are preparing to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes during this anniversary year and indeed many parishes will be joining the Diocesan pilgrimage this summer. The message of Lourdes can be a way of encountering anew Jesus in your lives.
My dear people, make this Lent a journey of faith. Take the opportunity to renew your lives. Make space for each other. Invite others to join you on this journey to Easter.
I take this opportunity of asking you to pray for all the sick of our Diocese, for those who live alone, for the doctors, the nurses and all who care for the sick.
My prayer is that each person be touched by the grace and healing power of the Lord, that the hope by which we are saved will bring us to new life in the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I pray that you have a very happy and a very Holy Lent.
May God bless you all.
+ Bishop Kevin
Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle