Second Sunday of Lent B

Wilfrid Owen an English Poet, was killed in action at the end of the First World War in 1918. Benjamin Britten set to music some of Owen’s incisive anti-war texts alongside the Latin texts of the Requiem Mass in his challenging War Requiem. One of the poetic extracts is a re-telling of the Abraham/Isaac story, the first reading today:

…An angel called out of heaven, Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, Neither do anything to him. Behold, A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns; Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him. But the old man would not so, but slew his son, And half the seed of Europe, one by one. As a Church, as a society and as a family, we ask forgiveness for failing to act in time and in an effective manner to prevent or acknowledge the abuse of children. By our failure to sacrifice the ‘Ram of Pride’, more children suffered abuse and further pain was inflicted on some when they came to tell their story. The effects of this will continue to influence the lives of those caught up in the ripples of this social sin as they find themselves in a prison of memory that they wish to escape. We can also interpret this piece in the light of our failure to act with energy on behalf of the displaced people of Somalia and South Sudan where abuse of women and young girls is prevalent. The extract from the Owen poem and the scripture reading from Genesis 22 might be set side by side with the Trócaire picture of Khalid (above) behind the barbed wire so that the real challenge of making sacrifices might become evident to us.

See also
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Who is feeling the pinch most?

  The present world economic turmoil is like that biblical mourning veil in Isaiah covering all peoples since there is such an air of gloom about.

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