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The Challenge of Lent

 

We associate the six weeks of Lent as a time of self-discipline, fasting and Alms Giving in order to prepare ourselves for the great Feast of The Resurrection, and in some ways leave the message of The Good News behind, not thinking that the two are intertwined.

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Deep Cleaning

The Jews of Jesus’ time took the old expression “cleanliness is next to Godliness” pretty literally. Swine and other non-Kosher foods were considered ‘unclean’. Sinners were also condemned as ‘unclean’. Consequently, the fact that Moses commanded lepers to shout out that they were ‘unclean’ to warn other people about their condition had some serious moral connotations. It wasn’t bad enough that they had a chronic illness and had to live on the outskirts of society to prevent it from spreading.

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Rejoicing in the promise

The Third Sunday of Advent is traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin command meaning: “Rejoice!” Of course we might expect to rejoice at Christmas. But that’s still over a week away, so why are we supposed to rejoice now? Well, partly it’s a reminder that Christmas is the anniversary of a joyous event that’s already happened. Our celebration doesn’t really have to wait because it’s not like we’re actually still waiting for Christ to be born.

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