31 March 2019

Praying through Lent with
USPG (26): 31 March 2019

‘Jesus meets the Holy Women’ … Station VIII in the Stations of the Cross in the Friars’ Graveyard at Gormanston College, Co Meath (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Today is the Fourth Sunday in Lent [31 March 2019], and Mothering Sunday. Later this morning, I am presiding and preaching at the Parish Eucharist in Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale, Co Limerick (11 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 (31 March to 6 April 2019), the USPG Prayer Diary is focussing on the theme of Climate. This theme is introduced this morning with a short article from the Church of South India’s Green Schools programme, which is inspiring a new generation to care for the environment:

‘We train students to observe and watch nature. This is the best education we can give them because nature will reveal its treasures to the students. Observing nature with respect and curiosity will change their mindset, which is the primary goal of the Green Schools programme. We aim to catch the students when they are young and give them training in sustainable values in the hope that this can start to solve the present ecological crisis. Interestingly, we’ve noticed that primary school students respond better than high school students.

‘We also organise training for teachers and clergy in the dioceses. Mona Robert, a teacher at Dornakal Diocese High School, said: ‘The sessions inspired me. From now on I would like to read the Bible keeping ecology in mind. I was impressed by the significance of tigers, the guardians of the forest, and how they are [badly] treated. Also, because water is the main resource for all living beings, it should be used carefully, so we have to educate people about this.’

‘In Medak Diocese, teacher K Hepsheba reported: ‘We learned how everything in the universe is interrelated. If we care about nature, nature will care for us’.’

Sunday 31 March: The Fourth Sunday in Lent :

Creator God,
the heavens declare your glory
and the earth your generosity.
Forgive our exploitation of your gracious provision
and through your bountiful goodness
guide our efforts to be better stewards of your creation.

The Collect:

Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world:
Grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross,
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
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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