LENT 2024 Week Four

 'Prayer, almsgiving and fasting are not three unrelated acts, but a single movement of openness and self-emptying.'

In his 2024 Lent Message Pope Francis urges us to slow down and pause! The season of Lent provides as a time to pause in prayer. He writes:

‘It is time to act, and in Lent, to act also means to pause. To pause in prayer, in order to receive the word of God, to pause like the Samaritan in the presence of a wounded brother or sister. Love of God and love of neighbour are one love. Not to have other gods is to pause in the presence of God beside the flesh of our neighbour. For this reason, prayer, almsgiving and fasting are not three unrelated acts, but a single movement of openness and self-emptying, in which we cast out the idols that weigh us down, the attachments that imprison us. Then the atrophied and isolated heart will revive. Slow down, then, and pause! The contemplative dimension of life that Lent helps us to rediscover will release new energies. In the presence of God, we become brothers and sisters, more sensitive to one another: in place of threats and enemies, we discover companions and fellow travelers. This is God’s dream, the promised land to which we journey once we have left our slavery behind.’

Read the complete Lent 2024 message HERE


2 Chron 36:14-16, 19-23: The wrath and the mercy of the Lord are revealed in the exile and liberation of his people.

Psalm 136 R: Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!

Eph 2: 4-10: When we were dead through sins, he brought us to life.

Glory and praise to you Lord Jesus Christ!

God loved the world so much, he gave us his only Son,

That all who believe in him might have eternal life.

Glory and praise to you Lord Jesus Christ!

Jn 3:14-21: God sent his son into the world that we might be saved through him.

Music suggestions

Amazing Grace by John Newton

Blest be the Lord by Daniel L. Schutte.

God is love: his the care from Piae Cantiones (1582)

Be not afraid by Bob Dufford

Homily suggestions

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.'

In John’s reflection, we find an observation about human sinfulness.

Jesus is the light that has come into the world, but people preferred the darkness.

We wish to keep our sins hidden, even from God.

Jesus has come into the world to reveal our sins so that they may be forgiven.

This was through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

This is the Good News and the reason for our rejoicing in this season of Lent and throughout our lives.

Let's pray together, thanking God for the great gift of forgiveness we have received through Jesus.

Perhaps this is a time we could pray together the Act of Contrition.

(Adapted from Loyola Press Sunday Connection.)

Homily Studio podcast for a 30-minute conversation about the scriptures for Sunday can be found at this link during the week leading up to 10 March. HERE 


E te Atua o te Aroha,  God of Love, thank you for your unending love that we experience as Your sons and daughters. We know that you loved us so much that You were prepared to give Your only Son so that we could have life everlasting. Reveal how love could become a common language for us all to understand one another and to share together.


(from Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand Prayer card 2024.)

Photo attribution: C.Gibbs. Cross at Pukekaraka, Ōtaki.

Through the desert God leads us to freedom.  (Lent 2024)