A message for Lent 2020 from Bishop Donal. An invitation to look at the life of service to which God is calling us.

Lenten Invitation from Bishop McKeown

During the six weeks of Lent 2020, I invite you, as individuals, as families and parish faith communities of the Diocese of Derry, to use the six Sunday Gospels of Lent to look at the life of service to which God is calling all of us, as the 2020 disciples of Jesus.

The Gospels this Lent from Jesus' life are:

  • The Temptations of Jesus
  • The Transfiguration
  • The Samaritan Woman
  • Jesus heals a blind man
  • Raising of Lazarus
  • Jesus arrives in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday

The Season of Lent is traditionally a time of reflection, repentance and renewal, of prayer, penance and providing for those in need. It is all of these but, most of all, Lent must be seen by us as an opportunity, an opportunity for change. The Bible gives us a particular perspective on change. The Gospels of the six weeks of Lent portray Jesus as the living example of how we can change our lives, when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in heart and in mind. If we actively engage with what Pope Francis calls 'the unruly freedom of the Word of God', we can learn profound lessons from Jesus' life and from those who encountered His grace and message.

... it can take courage in these secular times to talk openly about the meaning and value of faith in our lives and to demonstrate it in our lifestyles and actions. This Lent, I invite you to 'change' in that respect.

Lent is a time for all of us to look at our own personal faith, prayer and sacramental life but, in doing so, it is important that our focus remains on God's Plan for us, not our own agenda. We are not used to talking to others about our faith – it can take courage in these secular times to talk openly about the meaning and value of faith in our lives and to demonstrate it in our lifestyles and actions. This Lent, I invite you to 'change' in that respect. I invite you to walk and share your Lenten journey with others: create and enjoy opportunities each week of Lent, to talk and share with your family, your friends, your neighbours and parishioners about what you consider to be relevant from the message of the Gospel in your personal, family and parish life today. Use the Gospels of the six Sundays of Lent, all part of the story of Jesus' life of teaching, healing and preaching, as your guide.

In our diocese, we are in a time of an ongoing process of change, to meet the pastoral realities of the 2020s. This change has already impacted on many of our parishes / parishioners and our priests. We meet the challenges of change best when we engage positively with them and when our focus is the Greater Good. In the Gospels of the Lenten Sundays we can see how Jesus challenges His apostles to develop a new way of being God's people, where the building of His kingdom is priority.

I pray that, open to the invitation of the Holy Spirit, we will all use this grace-filled Season well so that, as authentic witnesses to the Word of God and to the life of service to which we are called through Baptism, we will be ready to fully embrace the events of Holy Week and the glory of the Resurrection.


+ Bishop Donal


Resources for Lent 2020

Ash Wednesday, 26 February 2020 marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Throughout Lent resources and parish events will be published here on the Diocese website and our social media channels on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Bishop Donal will also publish a weekly reflection of each of the six Gospels of Lent. 

Everyone is encouraged to use and share these resources with their own followers and how they are putting the three pillars of Lent - Pray, Fast, Give into action in their daily lives.​

Diocesan Lenten Prayer 

Each day of Lent everyone in the Diocese is encouraged to pray the Diocese Lenten Prayer.


Loving Father,

To prepare for His mission of proclaiming Your
kingdom to the world

Your Son Jesus was guided by Your Holy Spirit to the
quiet of the desert.

In these Lenten days, I pray that I will be guided by
that same Spirit,

to a place of renewal in my heart and mind, so that I
will seek opportunities for

daily personal prayer, personal sacrifices and acts of
kindness.

With Your help, may I too be truly prepared to share in the story of the passion,

death and resurrection of Jesus Your Son, our Lord.

Amen.
Diocese of Derry Lenten Prayer
Youth Work Training Opportunity

Related Posts

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.derrydiocese.org/