Fourth Sunday of Lent Year A 22 March 2020

Weddings cancelled, Funerals made ‘private’, celebrations postponed, hand washing the new rage; soon we will have a new understanding of ‘tennis elbow’!

Frank Marriott – Victoria West

We are experiencing a new way of celebrating relationships and we are discovering…it is not easy!

“Don’t panic” they tell you. The scripture would say “Do not be afraid”. The Bendigo Advertiser headline “Shining a Light on Kind Gestures” heads a story “encouraging people to show kindness” complete with a list of 10 suggestions on how to do it. Whatever happened to the Scripture, “Love one another as I have loved you”?

Remember the fulsome words ushering in the 21st Century. The grand hopes expressed for the wonderful things that were to happen. Well, another headline in the same paper says, “Normal Rules no Longer Apply”. The UN chief is not giving us a dispensation from the 10 Commandments but commentating on the new travel restrictions and the importance for various social distancing measures. And, so, it goes on.

Our second reading for this first of non-public Mass Sunday celebrations, has this line “Try to discover what the Lord wants of you”.

I think it fair to say that many, many people are very active in allowing that truth to penetrate their lives. For many, the Mass on Sunday helped them in all sorts of ways:

  • They, you and I, met people of like mindedness
  • We were challenged by the Scripture
  • The homily stirred us occasionally or, maybe, more often
  • We gained strength, often unconsciously, from the Eucharist
  • We left determined to try again, buoyed up by the goodness we experienced, and the burden of daily criticism lifted by the example of good people.

    The virus has claimed an unlikely victim…the celebrations in public of the interfaith communities!

“Try to discover what the Lord wants of you”.

It is a bit like uncharted territory. But, as usual, we are not alone. He who gave sight to the man born blind can give life to us. Together, let us explore this seeming world of darkness and bring the light of Christ to dispel the doom.

Mons Frank


P.S. For Teams, Darwin was positive despite the virus. We found a Marist Brother who has extensive experience as Sector Spiritual Counsellor and is very willing to help. For Cardijn readers, Bishop Charles is still committed to the See, Judge, Act and would happily welcome an approach.