February 22, 2024

Time is fleeting. Time is fast. We can’t stop or slow it down. But we can make time meaningful and beautiful.
We just celebrated Christmas. In a short while, it will be Lent. Ash Wednesday is just three days from the time you read this article on Sunday.
First, I take this chance to apologize for the articles that might have provoked misunderstanding and unnecessary conflicts to readers. I am accountable. Second, I am thankful to all the readers who sincerely and prudently messaged me for constructive criticisms and suggestions. I am learning as I continue to use social communications to participate in the prophetic, kingly, and priestly mission of Christ. Pray for me so that I will become an authentic servant of God through mass media.
I encourage each one of you to pray for us, priests. We have limitations, weaknesses, and lapses. Support us with your friendship, prayers, and affirmations. With the love expressed in forgiveness to everyone, we will start right to journey towards meeting Jesus in his passion and death through the observance of Lent.
Nevertheless, let us not use the human weakness to justify our error but to humble ourselves for God’s mercy and compassion towards “Metanoia.” Nobody is perfect but we can always strive to live holy lives with the amazing grace of God. We continue to live our prophetic calling despite our human weakness for in our humility and honesty that the power of God is in full operation.
On Feb. 26, we will celebrate Ash Wednesday but not as festive as the other liturgical celebrations. It is a celebration that highlights the strict observance of fasting and abstinence. We don’t eat full meal and we abstain from eating meat.
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday must be observed with deep fasting and abstinence. We don’t just skip meals and abstain physically but more importantly, spiritually. Spiritual discipline is being solicited in this season to allow our life to become participants in the salvific passion, suffering, and death of Jesus.
Ash Wednesday is celebrated with the imposition of holy ashes with the formulary, “Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). or “Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). The ashes come from the palms blessed during the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year.
The old palms are gathered and blessed in a rite the day before Ash Wednesday. People are encouraged to join the blessing and burning of the palms to turn them to holy ashes for Ash Wednesday. Literally, the ashes remind our human nature but imposed on our foreheads in the sign of the cross to entail the “death of death as punishment” now as a door to new life in Jesus. The imposition of ashes can also be by pouring on the head to entail serious penitence and conversion in the mercy and compassion of Jesus.
Let us be aware of Ash Wednesday by reminding ourselves and others to attend the Holy Mass and receive the Holy Ashes. Let us celebrate the Season of Lent, not only for compliance but also for spiritual discipline, spiritual maturity, and for the sake of love. Another doable Lenten habit is to go for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
On Feb. 20, a priest approached me for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I felt his joy of being forgiven and healed. I was moved to ask the sacrament too from him. We were blessed having experienced the love of Jesus through his mercy and compassion.
The date, 2-20-2020, is memorable for me as it starts Lent. Aside from the three observances of Lent namely, prayer, fasting, and alms giving, we are encouraged to remind one another about the love of God that we can experience and encounter in the sacraments.
Ash Wednesday is a reminder of our transitoriness to lead us to trust more in God and a reminder that we are now entering Lent. We ponder on the book of Job, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21) Too much attachment to material possessions will blind us to the spiritual reality. Too much attachment to wealth will make us greedier each day and eventually lead us to treating our life and wealth as the ultimate end of life forgetting God as the author and end of life. When we die, we cannot bring anything except the naked soul. Hence, let us be wise and vigilant to present our soul clean and worthy to the Lord when judgment comes. Reach me at [email protected] or at 0905-165-3669.