At first when they discovered that Yusuf was born blind Cornelia was worried. Had it been because of having measles when she was pregnant?  But she learned to live with the fact,   the family rallied around and little Yusuf grew up quite independent. Then when times were really bad in their family they decided to put him on the street to beg.  He agreed but found it degrading to be exploited like that. One day a car stopped and asked him about his condition and the driver said he might be able to help. “I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Yusuf laughed after the operation, “to think my world could be changed from darkness to light. I didn’t even know that light could be so absolutely wonderful.” 

Scripture. Jesus answered, “it was not that this man born blind sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. I must do the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes when no one can work. I am in the world and the light of the world.” From John 9:1-41  

An initiative for this time promoted by Pope Francis is “24 Hours for the Lord.”  that could be celebrated preceding the 4th Sunday of Lent.  On its first commemoration the Pontifical Council said, “On this day, which will be marked by Eucharistic Adoration, individual reflection and an invitation to personal conversion, we are invited to contemplate the image of Jesus who, unlike the crowd which gathers to judge and condemn the woman taken in adultery, offers His infinite mercy as an opportunity for grace and new life.” This 24 hours could be commemorated in the parish but also with some time for prayer and reflection in a family, praying especially for peace in the home and the WORLD, A FAMILY OF FAMILIES.

Pope Francis:   “So many people, including the youth, are returning to the Sacrament of Reconciliation though this experience they are rediscovering a path back to the Lord, living a moment of intense prayer and finding meaning in their lives.  Let us place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the centre once more in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands.  For every penitent it will be a source of true interior peace. FM 17.     Let us priests help light up the space of personal conscience with God’s infinite love.  FM 11,

Reflect, share, act, pray.  St Francis was not just an icon for simplistic peace and love of nature. He proposed to his followers a way of life marked by the flavour of the Gospels contained in his teachings summed up in The Teaching of Teachings: Love. Walking in the footsteps of St Francis means following his regular penitential way of life in his three-fold practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving and care for the poor.