Scripture Notes – Sunday 14th February 2021

You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Not quite spring, but a luminous promise…

(Phoenix Park, 4 February 2021)

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Welcome to Hearers of the Word for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Ash Wednesday falls on the 17th of February, opening up the season of Lent.

The man in the Gospel is called a leper — not leprosy as we now know today but some kind of skin condition which entailed ritual impurity and suspension of social interaction. Given our current experience, we might have some sympathy for the man!

In Mark 1:40-45, the emphasis falls not so much on the condition itself but on the exclusion from and restoration to community membership — hence the repeated emphasis on cleansing rather than just healing. The story — interesting in itself — invites reading at different levels, as attempted in the notes and the Gospel exploration.

Sunday 6B21

The gospel exploration offer a different approach. The YouTube and Zoom versions are identical — both are there to give a choice of medium (in some countries, access to YouTube is blocked).

  • Gospel exploration (YouTube)
  • Gospel exploration (Zoom)
  • All the Gospel explorations (YouTube)

Lent 2021 — looking ahead

For Lent, the Gospel explorations will be expanded to take in all three readings. This will mean a slightly longer presentation but you can always dip in and out.

As noted in previous emails, my own Lent book in the Hearers of the Word series is now available. It can be ordered directly from the Irish Messenger. If you are having any difficulty, send me an email and I’ll see what I can do.

Tarsus Scripture School: You may like to look at our new Holy Week/Easter programme. Further details will be available shortly.

Each Lent, the Archbishop of Canterbury nominates his recommended book for Lent. This year, it is by Hannah Steele: Living His Story: Revealing the extraordinary love of God in ordinary ways. It is available as a paperback and also for Kindle device. The book receives a warm commendation from Justin Welby, keeping the current pandemic also in mind.