Our Lenten season began with many of us being signed with ashes on our forehead, to remind us of our dependence on God. This is what these Lenten days are about and our readings will keep on directing us to listen, to pray, to do good and to give generously.
Welcome back to the year which began just over one month ago. I am conscious that I am writing this message on 2 February 2020 which is a very special date, as it is a once-in-a-century eight digit palindrome (02022020). Apart from that, it is the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, which means it is already 40 days since Christmas. In the Temple Jesus, Mary and Joseph encountered Simeon and Anna who recognised Jesus as the light of revelation to the nations.
I trust your spiritual preparation for Christmas during this season of Advent is proving to be nourishing. Some people across the diocese are reading “The Way”, a resource prepared by the Diocese of Wollongong, and which offers daily reflections.
On my days off, I like go to the movies. If it’s a good one, the story can live on in my heart in the weeks ahead and “teach me”. Sometimes it can even change my attitude and behaviour towards others.
What a joy the past week has been. Many have written to me and the Diocesan Synod Working Party speaking positively of their experience of the Diocesan Synod that began on Saturday 23 November. It seems to have been the spark of hope we needed, and how appropriate to have this encounter with hope as we begin the liturgical year.