Sunday, 14 April 2019

Praying through Lent with
USPG (40): 14 April 2019

‘Jesus meets the Holy Women’ … Station VIII in the Stations of the Cross in the Chapel in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

Patrick Comerford

Today is Palm Sunday [14 April 2019], and the beginning of Holy Week. Later this morning, I am presiding and preaching at the Parish Eucharist in Castletown Church (9.30 a.m.) and Morning Prayer 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 (14 to 20 April 2019), Holy Week, the USPG Prayer Diary is focussing on the work of the Delhi Brotherhood Society (DBS) and its Women’s Helpline, which provides pastoral support and counselling to help families to resolve issues of gender violence or marital discord.

This theme is introduced this morning with a short article that tells Meera’s story:

Meera, aged 35, has been married 17 years. She and her husband Lalit, 47, a driver by profession, have four children. Lalit was abusive in the marriage, and he married another woman and tried to throw Meera and their children out of the home. Lalit’s mother supported him so that Meera had no support and was in great distress.

Then a friend directed Meera to the DBS run Women’s Helpline programme. Meera met with their para-legal staff in Mandoli, who visited the home and warned Lalit to stop, but as soon as they left Lalit beat up Meera again. The helpline team visited again and told Lalit he could be sent to jail if he continued to mistreat his wife, after which he became cautious and stopped harassing his wife, and even his mother backed off. Meanwhile, Meera found a job as a cook, so that she is able to support her family.

Meera’s husband now knows that he cannot evict his wife and children, nor can he attack her. This is a huge relief to Meera and she’s thankful to the Women’s Helpline.

Sunday 14 April 2019, Palm Sunday:

Vulnerable God, you chose the way of the servant king,
bearing our pain and humiliations.
Give us grace to hear what we see and to see what we hear
that we may bear each other’s crosses
and share each other’s load.

The Collect of the Day (Palm Sunday):

Almighty and everlasting God,
who, in your tender love towards the human race,
sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
to take upon him our flesh
and to suffer death upon the cross:
Grant that we may follow the example
of his patience and humility,
and also be made partakers of his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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. Amen.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

The entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday … an icon by Theodoros Papadopoulos of Larissa, who led a workshop in Knock, Co Mayo, on 8 to 13 October 2018

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