Reflections for the Month of February

As the opportunity for having the Covid vaccine spreads more widely, some of us might feel more able to leave home unnecessarily. We must remember that it is our responsibility to help control the spread and protect others. We are being warned that this virus may become embedded as an annual epidemic, like the flu, with new strains appearing and medicine trying to keep up, rather than getting ahead of developments.

The Government is concerned about the depth of fake news and dis-trust around the vaccines. Our Bishops have spoken out to say that we all can, in good conscience, have it and, as Christians, should take it for the good welfare of all people. We have a marvellous NHS and a scientific depth that leads the world in research. It is up to us to allow these strengths to be effective. For our churches to remain open a continued vigilance is needed from us all.

Lent may not be as well marked this year (we’ve endured a lot of hardships with the lockdowns and restrictions already) so how can we make it special? We may feel very uncharitable, tired, irritable, isolated and frustrated in ourselves. Maybe we could use Lent to break the cycle and achieve something worthwhile. If you don’t usually pick up a bible, start by ‘praying for protection’ against distraction and try reading a few pages from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, rather than the Old Testament. Mark is shortest; easily read in a day but don’t be too ambitious.

It’s better to read a couple of lines and consider what the writer says to you, as if it is the first time you hear it. It’s good to use a ‘Commentary’ e.g. Bible Hub, and discover insights into the writer’s style and purpose. Dedicate some time, maybe 30 minutes, end with a thanksgiving and be surprised at what you’ll learn and how refreshed it makes you. Like anything worthwhile it will take persistence and stamina to keep going and gain real benefit long-term. Be faith-filled!

Calendar for February, Ordinary Time & Lent Year B

2nd      Presentation of the Lord  Feast

3rd       St Lawrence of Canterbury

5th       St Agatha

6th       St Paul Miki and companions

8th       St Josephine Bakita

10th     St Scholastica

11th     Our Lady of Lourdes

17th     Ash Wednesday – Lent begins  Fast & abstinence

22nd    Chair of St Peter feast

Deacon Michael Baldry