Today I visited the local school to talk about Lent and specifically the practices of PRAYER, FASTING AND ALMSGIVING. I had a surprise when the juniors (aged 4-8) had two questions to ask, something that had come up earlier in class. Firstly, how did God make the world? GOD CREATED THE WORLD AND THE WHOLE UNIVERSE OUT OF NOTHING – HE COULD SO THIS BECAUSE HE IS ALMIGHTY AND CAN DO ANYTHING THAT HE WANTS. Secondly, who made God? GOD ALWAYS EXISTED, EVEN BEFORE HE MADE THE WORLD AND UNIVERSE. THIS IS PART OF GOD BEING ALMIGHTY, AS WE SAY IN THE CREED: I BELIEVE IN GOD, THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, THE CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. I thought they were very good questions for children of such young age and showing how advanced their thinking was.
I have been thinking a lot recently about how important it is to be receptive to God’s Word, his Truth. At Mass before the gospel is read, we make the sign of the Cross on our foreheads, lips and heart – that this Word will be reflected upon by our minds, spoken by our lips and treasured in our hearts. We will never develop this affinity for God’s Word if we come to Mass always hoping for a ‘quickie’ service!
The following reflection from the Lenten Walk with Me booklet comments on the well-known parable of THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS. It makes the important point that the rich man goes to hell because he has hardened his heart to God’s Word, specifically the call to love our neighbour.