Year 5 led the first of our Lenten Friday Liturgies this week focusing on a reading from the Gospel of Matthew 9:14-15.
Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Jesus used a lovely image for us in this Gospel, describing his time with us as a honeymoon period, a week when the bride and groom kept open house and relished the joy of new love. To be with you then was to know that the world is young and full of hope, while realising that the honeymoon joy will not last for ever. In the message of Jesus we find always the contrasts between the joy of his presence and friendship with us, the pain that he suffers in bringing his mission forward and our frustration that this mission of God is not completed in the world. In our prayer we are sometimes filled with thanks and joy for the fullness of God’s life; at other times with emptiness and hollowness at our poor response to God and to the evil of the world. Both fill our times of prayer; both are part of the relationship we have with God.
Through liturgical dance, hymns, readings and prayers, Year 5 reminded us that during Lent we are called to walk humbly with God in company with and in prayer for others. Parents and parishioners all agreed that it was a very spiritual and reverend start to the morning.