Feb 27, 2022


It’s Sunday night and I’m just in from an evening Mass at a local parish where I realised during the moments of silent reflection that I’m looking forward to Wednesday when we begin Lent.

In my homily this evening I reflected on Pope Francis’ message for Lent 2022. I was moved by his positivity, his excitement at beginning Lent. It was his enthusiasm that led me to look forward to the next 40 days as a time of opportunity.

Here are a few of his contagiously hope-full lines:

“Lent is a favourable time for personal and community renewal, as it leads us to the paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

I’m noting this – it’s not about me, it’s about Jesus Christ who is rescuing me from every difficult circumstance.

“What is this “opportune time” for us?”

A time of opportunity… Yes, I need that.

“listening to the word of God makes us open and docile to his working and bears fruit in our lives.”

Open and docile, to Jesus Christ. Now there is my ultimate goal.

“In truth, we see only a small portion of the fruits of what we sow, since, according to the Gospel proverb, “one sows, while another reaps”

I don’t need to see the fruits…

 “it is truly noble to place our hope in the hidden power of the seeds of goodness we sow, and thus to initiate processes whose fruits will be reaped by others”

…others will see the fruits of my labours.

Sowing goodness for the benefit of others frees us from narrow self-interest, infuses our actions with gratuitousness, and makes us part of the magnificent horizon of God’s benevolent plan”.

I like that – the “magnificent horizon”.

“The word of God broadens and elevates our vision”

Yes! My vision needs broadening and elevating.

With these encouragements we begin these forty days of pilgrimage centred not on our own well-intentioned projects and sacrifices but on the presence of Jesus Christ active in the up and down circumstances of our 2022 lives.

I look forward to your company on our day by day journey.

In Christ

Signature of Fr John O'Connor


  1. Thank you Father John and Pope Francis. I am looking forward to having my vision broadened and elevated as I journey through lent with you and others on this Food by faith journey

    • Thank you Fr. I too am looking forward to Lent. I’m not sure why. I just know that being with Jesus and Jesus being with me until his crucifixion and further will fill me with hope and excitement.


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