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Even though the majority of us have been confined to our homes many aspects of life have continued. The church year has been no exception, and through the wonders of modern technology, many of us have still been able to experience at least a sense of the season of Easter, the culmination of Lent. It has without doubt been like no other that we have ever experienced, but nonetheless we have still had the opportunity to be part of this holy season.

Much of my diaconate over the past few weeks has been what could be described as being a ‘ministry by media’. Virtual meetings are the in thing, and with my limited technological skills that has been a challenge! But one comment made me think on Easter Monday. “Huh, so much for Lent being over!” Said someone who was part of a group chat I had sight of. Now whilst I’d heard of giving up things (chocolate, coffee, cakes etc..) not drinking, avoiding social media, and on the opposite trying to do more, I’ve not heard of people doing a 40 day lock-down to prepare for Easter. So that lead me into thinking about how we had viewed Lent.

Back at the beginning of Lent, my homily concluded with :

In our journey through Lent, we are encouraged to adopt an increase in prayer, fasting and almsgiving – what better way to show love for our neighbours. Pray for those who are suffering, gather up only what we need so that everybody has sufficient and give of our time to ensure others are kept safe and cared for.

If we viewed Lent as an opportunity, if we view life as an opportunity, then the same can be said for lock-down. So consuming is the virus news at the moment, I’ve hardly heard reference to the year of ‘The God who Speaks’ – do you remember the initiative the Church embarked on last November. A challenge to all of us to engage more actively with scripture, the Word of God. So it seems that now the opportunity arises – but do we take it?

What was the last scripture passage that I read?

Can I spend 5 minutes of my new found time to explore this a bit more?

Just because the church is only on the television doesn’t mean all engaging with the Word of God has to be at a distance.

My lock-down = my opportunity?

Deacon Ian Black

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  1. Hello Deacon Ian,
    Thank you for your words, it’s really nice the hope and encouragement you are giving us. You are right this is the time to read and reflect in the scriptures with an open heart and mind, reunited in prayers we can get closer to God. Thank you! God bless!
    Ps: I am glad you are well, keep safe.

  2. Joe, Thanks for sending this of your dad’s reflection. Give him a big pat on the back and I can hear him saying the words. My lockdown, my opportunity! And to focus on the Word of God! I have a very great sense of gratitude for the Word of God. This month focussing on Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believe is an inspiration for me. Happy Eastertide to you all in Maidstone and the family elsewhere. Jonathan

  3. Lol, locked down as a former locked down guest of HMQ and HMP Maidstone and having been confirmed there at HMP our hearts go out to you and all at HMP. Thanks for keeping the Mass and holy sacraments going. You have no idea how much it means to those locked down guests. Cheers John Dominic

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