Homily 8th Sunday of Year C

Posted on 1st March, 2022

Homily 8th Sunday of Year C

SVP 27 February 2022


Spring is in the air! Those who have gardens cannot but notice it. If you are blessed with the possibility of taking a walk in the countryside – or even a city park – as I did yesterday, you will see the banks and braes covered in the gentle, white beauty of the delicate snowdrop, or the flower buds atop the bright green leaves of the daffodils and narcissi: a sure sign that Spring is close at hand.


Isn’t it a miracle that these flowers push through the almost frozen soil every year, as winter grinds to its end? They spring up, through the frost and snow, bringing new hope and new life to the greyness and drab of a cold winter. Their delicate beauty thrills the heart. But they are only spring flowers and before long, their colours fade and their proud display crumbles back, dry and browned into the ground. There they lay, hidden, for another 11 months, as other magnificent and glorious flowers take over through summer to bring pleasure to our senses and glory to God, their creator.


They seem to need all those months, these glories of early Spring, laying dormant in the warmer summer soil, to give them the strength they need to steadfastly return, the first plants to raise their head in the new year and give praise to the Creator of all. They need the tranquillity and the time of their hibernation to live to the full their vocation.


In three days’ time, we begin the season of Lent. Lent is a time in the year that God gives us to do as the early spring flowers. It’s a time of tranquillity and peace, when we can hibernate to some extent and prepare ourselves for the glory of Easter. Then, we will rise out of our winter sleep to celebrate the glory of the Resurrection. Like Christ in his tomb, during the weeks of Lent, we take the time to look at our lives, to interiorise our gaze, so as to rise into a new life in God at the Pascal Feast.


We need this special time, this tranquil time, when, with the aid of fasting and abstinence, we take a deep look at how we live our baptismal commitment and where we need to change our ways. Lent is the time of metanoia, of regeneration and rebirth. During Lent, we make space in our busy programmes to reflect on our lives; we take time to create a tranquil and silent space, in which we face our demons and allow God’s healing hands, with his forgiving touch, to embrace us and enfold us in his love.


Our lives are so busy. The air is filled with the noise of Tik Tok, the distraction of Instagram, the call of Twitter and – for some – the heat of Tinder or Grinder. The TV with its distractions of splendour and gain, or the news programmes bringing the disasters in so many lives, invades the safety and comfort of our living rooms and lounges. So much noise, so much time on social media, that we no longer have the time or the space to be ourselves, to be the person God wants us to be. We need to let go of these impositions and intrusions, shut them out of our mind so that we can find our true selves and regain our sanity. They have their place, but it should not be so great that it will destroy us. We need to take control and not be slaves. The only master we Christians serve is Jesus Christ; and he sets us free.


If we allow ourselves to be enslaved by these agents of the World or by other destructive agents such as power, or drugs, or money, we will be like the blind men of the Gospel: we will go nowhere and we will fall at every obstacle.


St. Paul exhorts the people of Corinth, distracted as they were by the temptations of the world, with these words: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain”.


On Wednesday, as we come up to receive our ashes, a sign that we enter into the period of Lent, let us be resolved to make more time for Christ and the Holy Spirit of God in our lives. Let us be resolved that in Lent we will seek to listen more to the Lord and make a space in our daily lives to stop and pray. Our desire would be to allow the Holy Spirit of God more space and more power in our lives so that we may lead others to God. Without that Holy Spirit, we can only stumble along the road, like the blind leading the blind of the Gospel. filled, with the light and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, we will be like the daffodils and the snowdrops in the park. We will be the heralds of the Kingdom of God where justice and peace and goodness reign.


Prayers of the Faithful


Let us pray for the people of Ukraine, now living in unbelievable terror, some fleeing to find safety for their families, others obliged to stay and defend their country from the invading forceWs, never before having handled a rifle.


Let us pray for the Russian people who live in fear and cannot react to what is being done in their name. Let us pray that they may find leaders who will respect the rule of law and the rights of all people to determine their own destiny.


War in Europe brings home to us the horrors and futility of such violence. It reminds us that millions of people have been and still today live in the terror of war, right across the world. Our own governments and industrial companies are complicit in many of these wars. We pray for an end to all these hostilities and that people everywhere may live in peace and security.


Let us pray for Pope Francis and for our bishops that they may lead us with wisdom and charity. Let us pray for Bishop William Nolan, who is installed as the new Archbishop of Glasgow today.


Lord, you people are sick. We pray for:


We pray for the intentions of :


Let us pray for those who have died:   

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