LENT! LENT! LENT!
Lent always begins with Ash Wednesday, which is celebrated on February 14, 2018 this year and ends with the celebration of the Lord’s last Supper on Holy Thursday.
During the season of Lent, all Catholics are invited to respect and follow the three-traditional means of sanctification fasting, prayer, and almsgiving offered and encouraged by the Church. We are invited to abstain and restrain from anything that can keep us away from God’s grace.
Pope Francis reminds us that “Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each community, and for every believer. Above all, it is a time of grace and conversion.”
God is not distant from us. Each of us has a special place in His kingdom. God knows us by name; He is interested in each one of us even when we sin and He seeks us out whenever we turn away from His grace. God only wants our return and never for us to be lost. Once again Lent makes its prophetic appeal to us all to challenge ourselves and make an honest check-up.
Pope Francis says; to be drawn more deeply to the heart of God and its mystery of overflowing love must be our Lenten goal. He also reminds us that Lent is a moment of grace, a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls all Christians to conversion and to return to God "with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12). Also this season calls us to refuse anything that is sinful and to grow in holiness and friendship with the Lord.
Let us not waste this season of Lent; Let us not just practice Lent, but let us live it as a favorable time for conversion; for renewing our encounter with Christ; to be touched by God’s grace and thus become more Christ-like, meaning channels of grace for others.
May the Holy Spirit lead us on this journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need. May by opening our hearts to the overflowing grace of this Lenten season we come to identify the areas where we need to change our life.
May you all have a gracious and a fruitful Lent!
Fr. Anthonio JEAN