ALLOW me to express an important aspect of the Christian calendar. On Wednesday we began the Season of Lent. It is one of the important seasons for many Christian denominations. Lent means ‘spring’; it is a springtime where we are renewed and refreshed through Lenten observances. We are washed clean so that we enter into paschal mysteries of Christ’s death and resurrection. The Latin-based language used the word “Quaresma” for Lent, which simply means 40 days. After the baptism, Jesus was tempted and tried in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights whilst he was in prayer and fasting. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent.
On this day, the faithful is imposed with ashes on their foreheads as a reminder of the repentance and fragility of humankind. The four pillars of Lent, prayer, penance, alms-giving and fasting help not only the people in need, but also makes us empathise with the poor and needy people. The Season of Lent ends when the Holy Week begins on Maundy Thursday leading up to the Easter Celebrations.
Christians tend to fast on certain days in Lent, or at least forgo something such as meat, chocolate, sweets and help the people who cannot afford such food. This is to benefit one’s spiritual and philanthropic growth. A crucial aspect of Lent is reconciliation and peace. Our world needs to be reconciled between nations and peoples. Here is an opportunity to embrace each other with paternal love.