cheap jerseys Lent Season and Easter

Lent Season and Easter

What is more important during the Lenten season is not just fasting and abstinence but it also requires us to go for penitence for the wrongs we have made. So this is a time to do introspection and examination conscience to reconcile us with God and to become mentally fit for receiving the resurrected Son of the living God, while celebrating the Easter on Sunday, the 12th April, 2020.

Lent Season and Easter

By K. L. Joseph

The Lenten season reminds us of the period from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, devoted to fasting, penance and abstinence in commemoration of forty days and nights that Jesus spent in the wilderness without food. The Syro Malabar Churches have changed the traditionally observed Ash Wednesday to Ash Monday after some Eastern Churches. Many Eastern Churches observe the first day of Lent on Monday as it refers to leave behind all the sinful tendencies and non-fasting food items. Accordingly, the first day of Lent will begin on Monday, the 24th February, 2020 by marking a  cross on the penitent’s forehead with ash during the holy mass in all the Eastern Rite Catholic churches.

Application of ash on the forehead during the Ash Wednesday also reminds us of the Judgement pronounced by God in the Book of Genesis (3: 19): “You will have to work hard and sweat to make the earth produce anything, until you go back to the earth from which you were formed. You were made from dust, and you will become dust again “.

What is more important during the Lenten season is not just fasting and abstinence but it also requires us to go for penitence for the wrongs we have made. So this is a time to do introspection and examination conscience to reconcile us with God and to become mentally fit for receiving the resurrected Son of the living God, while celebrating the Easter on Sunday, the 12th April, 2020.

During the Old Testament time, sprinkling of Ash on the body and wearing of sack cloth by the people signified repentance and a vow for turning away from the sins (Book of Jonah). For example, when the people of Nineveh, the capital of the great Empire of Assyria, Israel’s deadly enemy, had become wicked and began to lead a sinful life, God sent the prophet Jonah there to warn them and to proclaim to the people of God’s decision to destroy them in forty days. “When the king of Nineveh heard about it, he got up from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth, and sat in ashes. He also issued a proclamation to the people of Nineveh that all his officials, persons, cattle, and sheep should be forbidden from eating and drinking. The king also ordered all the persons to put on sackcloth and give up their wicked behaviour and evil actions and to pray to God for sparing them from his anger and destruction. When God saw that the people of Nineveh had repented and abandoned their wicked behaviour, he changed his mind and did not punish them as he had said he would “(Book of Jonah 3. 6-10).

In the gospel of St. Matthew( 11.20-24) and also in the gospel of St. Luke (10.13-15), Jesus’ concern about the sinful people of the two towns named Chorazin and Bethsaida can be read. Jesus reproached the people of these two towns when they were not turning away from the sins. He said, “How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin! How terrible for you too, Bethsaida! If the miracles which were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would long ago have put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on themselves, to show that they had turned from their sins!”.

More beneficent and admirable act during the Lenten season will be to reach out to the poor and downtrodden to help them in their sufferings. If fasting during the Lenten season has to become meaningful and instrumental to genuine penitence for seeking forgiveness of the sins from God, then it is necessary that the penitent’s deeds should also become humane and philanthropic.

Lenten season also offers us an opportunity to reflect on the passion of Jesus and rejection and sufferings he endured prior to his sacrificial death on the cross for our salvation.

We can also sing some psalms during this Lenten season to remain penitent while seeking God’s mercy for the forgiveness of the sins.   Out of the 150 Psalms available in the Book of Psalms, seven are the penitential psalms with especial expression of penitence. These are the Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130 and 143. Out of the above seven penitential Psalms, six psalms were written by David. One Psalm 102 is reported to have been sung by a weary sufferer.

Sunday, the 12th April, 2020 will mark the end of the Lenten season and this day will be celebrated in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead on the third day. Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross was glorified through his resurrection. If Jesus had not risen after his death, then our faith in him and our hope for salvation would have become a delusion. Thus, what Jesus foretold to the Jewish authorities in the Jerusalem Temple, had come true when he was raised after three days of his death. Jesus said: “Tear down this Temple, and in three days I will build it again“ (John 2. 19).

Let us remember during this Lenten season the following from   Paul’s letter to the Romans (13. 12-14):

“The night is nearly over, day is almost here. Let us stop doing the things that belong to the dark, and let us take up weapons for fighting in the light. Let us conduct ourselves properly, as people who live in the light of day – no orgies or drunkenness, no immorality or indecency, no fighting or jealousy. But take up the weapons of the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop paying attention to your sinful nature and satisfying its desires”.

(Image Courtesy: Unsplash.com, Pexels.com)

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