Sunday, 24 March 2019

Praying through Lent with
USPG (19): 24 March 2019

‘Jesus accepts his Cross’ … Station II in the Stations of the Cross in the Friars’ Graveyard at Gormanston College, Co Meath (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Today is the Third Sunday in Lent [24 March 2019], and later this morning I am leading and preaching at Morning Prayer in Castletown Church, Co Limerick (9.30 a.m.), and presiding and preaching at the Parish Eucharist in Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale, Co Limerick (11.30 a.m.).

During Lent this year, I am using the USPG Prayer Diary, Pray with the World Church, for my morning prayers and reflections.

USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential, and champion justice. It was founded in 1701.

This week (24-30 March), the USPG Prayer Diary is focussing on the theme of Gender.

The Skills Training Programme for Women and Girls, in Kurnool, is an initiative of the Nandyal Diocese, the Church of South India. As an introduction to this week’s prayers, the Prayer Diary publishes a report from Mr Sushanth, trainer in computer education:

Sowjanya comes from a semi-urban part of Kurnool. When she was still a child, the sudden death of her father left her mother caring for the family alone.

At the time, Sowjanya’s mother was working for one of CSI’s missionary schools, earning just enough to take care of the family.

Sowjanya – the eldest of three siblings – completed her schooling but due to her lack of skills she was unable to get a job. However she never lost hope in God. She signed up for the Skill Training Centre, attended all her classes and soon learnt computing, tailoring and English, along with Bible studies which helped Sowjanya to discern God’s plan for her.

Her tailoring skills mean she can now earn money to support her family. And, with her new confidence, she passed a teacher training exam, so she also has even greater options.

Sowjanya said: ‘From the bottom of my heart, I offer warm greetings to USPG and heartfelt thanks for bringing colour into my life.’

Sunday 24 March:

God, our mother,
you brood over your children,
as a hen her chicks.
Open our hearts to caring
and our minds to learning
that we may nurture a vision of a world made whole.

The Collect:

Merciful Lord,
Grant your people grace to withstand the temptations
of the world, the flesh and the devil
and with pure hearts and minds to follow you, the only God;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lenten Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Continued tomorrow

Yesterday’s reflection

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