Welcome to the website of Our Lady of the Rosary, Marylebone. Our church is built in the neo-romanesque style, and is located near to Edgware Road and the Westway.
Having celebrated the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, now the stable is empty. Jesus has gone to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph (Lk 2:51a) for the 30 “hidden” years before the start of His often challenging teaching ministry. For us, those three decades will fly past before Lent begins on 14 February. And from then on the scriptures will move us, day by day, to a deeper contemplation of the passion and death of Jesus prompted by His uncompromising words and actions.
I am always struck by the Presentation. It is the last time that Our Lady holds her child in her arms until His broken body is pressed to her heart after His crucifixion and death. Hence, at that celebration in the temple, Simeon prophesies that a sword will pierce the heart of sinless Mary when she sees the appalling death her son will undergo to free us from our sins.
For us, all too often Lent can become a little like a heathy option or a detox. But it is really about coming to acknowledge how each of us has contributed to the Passion of the Christ though our own sinfulness.
And that is why the source of our ashes is so important. We can buy them from church suppliers, but better still is to make our own, as we do here, from the palms we waved to welcome Christ as our Redeemer last year. No doubt our enthusiasm has waned even more so in 11 months than in the short time since 25 December so that when we bless and burn those palms and use the ashes to mark ourselves on Ash Wednesday, they will become an even starker reminder of how unsteady our faith can be.
Time really does fly, but Lent beginning so soon after Christmas gives us a real opportunity to consider: do we recognise the infant Christ and our broken Saviour as one and the same Jesus Christ, and do we, like our Blessed Lady, hold both equally close to our hearts? Canon Kevin