For an overview of the MARCH theme of FAMILY RIGHTS, the focus and setting the scene go to

March 1. Addressing the parish sharing groups Matthew spoke as a parent.  “This month we’re focusing on rights, but I believe rights need to be balanced with responsibilities too.” Patricia laughed, “you and your families, of all kinds. I know that my dog could be trained, and she certainly knows if she has been bad, but I wouldn’t know about making all animals responsible for their actions.”  “That highlights the fact that humans should know better, doesn’t it?  We parents, and carers too, struggle with discipline and with finding suitable punishments for children’s misbehaviour. But equally for us, do we take responsibility, like for the COVID-19 restrictions?“ Doris wanted to know. “Is not wearing a mask really a sin?”

From The Little Flowers of St Francis:  Brother Bernard, Francis’s first convert was a very holy man who regularly conversed with God in prayer. One day Francis was searching for him and called him three times but Bernard did not hear.  Francis was irritated, but then he himself prayed about this “evil thought.” Feeling guilty, when he understood why Bernard could not hear, Francis went to him and demanded a punishment for his pride and to humble himself.  “Put your one foot on my neck and the other on my mouth three times.”  

Scripture:   O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and merciful love with those who love him and keep his commandment, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from you. We have not listened to your servants the prophets.  Daniel 9:4-10. 

Pope Francis: We must not lose our ability to listen.  Saint Francis heard the voice of God, he heard the voice of the poor, he heard the voice of the infirm, and he heard the voice of nature.  He made of them a way of life.   My desire is that the seed that St Francis planted may grow in the hearts of many. FT 48. 

Reflect, share, act, pray.  Discuss and share on the issue of repentance, sin and punishment. (Makes one think of “I can’t breathe!” one of the topical themes of 2020 too!)