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Lent is a time of conversion and freedom, says the Holy Father

Pope Francis (archive photo) (Photo credit: Vatican Media/Vatican News)

In his message for Lent 2024, Pope Francis invited the faithful to “pause” for prayer and to those who need one’s own and that of their communities.  During this time, we are called to take concrete action and find grace amidst struggles, requiring courage as well.

He opened his message by saying, “When our God reveals Himself, His message is always one of freedom.”

Among others, he said there is a need to counter a “globalization of indifference”.  

The Lenten journey “will be concrete if… we realize that even today we remain under the rule of Pharoah. A rule that makes us weary and indifferent. A model of growth that divides us and robs us of our  future, said the Pope.

God takes the initiative, said Pope Francis.  Lent is a “season of grace, a time of conversion.

He described the desert where Jesus retreated to fast for 40 days and where he overcame temptations.

The desert can become “a place where our freedom can mature in a personal decision not to fall back into slavery,” where “we find new criteria of justice and a community with which we can press forward on a road not yet taken.”

Many times, there is that “inexplicable longing for slavery” in people, which is a  desire to cling to idols that paralyze, just as Israel was paralyzed in the desert, said the Pope.

.The Lenten journey involves a struggle. It is a time not just for action but also a time to pause in prayer and “in the presence of a wounded brother or sister.”

 “Love of God and love of neighbor are one love," said Pope Francis. 

“The contemplative dimension” of Lent can help us “release new energies" to be “more sensitive to one another; in the place of threats and enemies, we discover companions and fellow travelers,” he explained.

“To the extent that this Lent becomes a time of conversion, an anxious humanity will notice a burst of creativity, a flash of new hope,” said Pope Francis, who appealed for “readiness to take risks”. 

He advised: “Find courage to see our world, not as in its death throes, but in a process of giving birth; not at the end, but at the beginning of a great new chapter of history.”  (MTV)


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.