Third Sunday before Lent - Reflection by Canon Leslie
Today is the Third Sunday before Lent. While still in the season of Epiphany, the Church is exploring and celebrating various ways in which Jesus was revealed and made known to others. Today’s Gospel reading presents Jesus’ teaching from Luke’s Sermon on the Plain. Like Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, Luke’s Sermon on the Plain begins with a set of beatitudes, statements beginning, ‘Blessed are you’. Another translation of these beatitudes reads ‘Happy are you’. In Luke’s sermon these beatitudes are accompanied by a set of calamities, statements beginning ‘Woe to you’. The beatitudes and calamities are well shaped easy to remember sentences. The three calamities are the opposites of the three beatitudes.
For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of happy faces. In today’s picture from his book, The Sunny Morning, Teddy Horsley is leaning on the gate and smiling at all he can see and enjoy.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you showed your people the way of happiness.
Open our hearts to the truth of your teaching,
so we may find happiness in you;
now and always.
Next week, the Second Sunday before Lent, the Gospel reading is Luke’s narrative of Jesus calming the storm at sea. The image to help us prepare for next week’s theme is storms. You can find out more about that theme here https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html. We would really appreciate you letting us know how you are using these materials.