Today is Ash Wednesday – the commencement of Lent. Every year we prepare ourselves for the celebration of Christ passion, death and resurrection through our Lenten observances: prayer, fasting and good work. This triple way of preparation helps us to look at our own life, to turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. Usually we make some small resolutions, small sacrifices, spend more time in prayers for example participate in prayerful reflection during Stations of the Cross or donate to charity through Project Compassion.
This year, more then ever, our prayers, fasting and good work should not focus only on our own preparation for Easter but more importantly should be offered for others.
The constant vision in the media of the military presence in the Ukraine and the flooding in Queensland and New South Wales has left an unforgettable mark on our lives.
Pope Francis has declared Ash Wednesday a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Ukraine. He has also called on those in positions of political authority to “examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war”.
The escalating violence in Ukraine is rapidly becoming a dire humanitarian crisis. In a matter of days, over half a million people have already been forced from their homes, there has also been at least 400 civilian casualties.
You can help the Caritas Ukraine staff on the ground to provide families with emergency food, water, shelter and hygiene support.
We also keep in our prayers the communities in our own country devastated by floods. New South Wales and Queensland have encountered days of rain and subsequent flooding. Many are homeless and left with nothing but the clothes on their backs. It will be a long road to recovery.
If you wish to donate visit: https://www.vinnies.org.au/page/Find_Help/Flood_appeal/
During this time of Lent, I invite you all to spend time in Prayer. Time praying for peace and time praying for strength for those affected by floods.