March 2, Ash Wednesday
Reading I: Joel 2:12-18
Reading II: 2 Corinthians 5:20—6:2, Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
The origin of the word "lent" has Germanic roots. Its literal meaning means "lengthening" of days or springtime.
Lent is an annual period of fasting and repentance in preparation for Easter in the Christian religion. It begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts 40 weekdays to Easter.
In essence, the season of Lent is a time for self-examination, repentance, and the renewal of our relationship with one another and with God through prayer, fasting, and acts of charity.
For Catholics, the ashes of Ash Wednesday are a tangible of our mortality and penitence and a powerful sign of our entry into the season of Lent—a time of repentance, renewal, and reconciliation.
Repentance: To err is human. It is a universal phenomenon. We all sin and fail. Because we have failed, we need to repent for our ways, actions, and behaviors and mend them. As part of repentance, we are deeply sorry for frailties and resolve with God’s grace, not repeating them but replacing them with good ways and actions. Reviewing our past in the present entails seeking God’s grace.
Renewal: Deep introspection or self-examination will pave the way for our revival for the better. It is a time for one to be productive and use one’s human capabilities to be prudent, progressive, and dynamic and focus on ways to benefit oneself and others in society. For example, one has been lazy in the past.
Reconciliation: More than occasionally, we have restrained and stained our relationship with God and others. Some of the manifestations of restrained and stained relationships can be seen in each one time or others—for example, being unforgiving or harboring hurts or not communicating/interacting with others for some reason. Or, it can be in terms of not taking one’s faith, religion, and morals seriously. If this is the scenario, Lent is the opportune time to reconcile with others and God.
Let the 40-days of Lent be springtime for the heart of everyone. What will you do to repent, renew and reconcile during this Lent and beyond? And why?
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.