Lent begins today-
By Michael Ofulue
As christians all over the world begin the Lenten Season with the commemoration of Ash Wednesday, the Catholic Bishop of Ondo Diocese, Most Rev’d (Dr) Jude Ayodeji Arogundade has charged Christian faithful to participate in the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ through prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Bishop Arogundade stated this in his lenten message made available to The Hope in Akure, on Tuesday.
He said in the biblical tradition, the Jews used ashes as a symbol of repentance to subdue the pleasure seeking self and open themselves to the loving mercy of God.
According to the Chief Shepherd of Ondo Diocese, the ashes we put on our foreheads reminds us that unto dust we come and unto dust we shall return
His words: “Ashes is to invoke our nothingness before God. Fasting and abstinence cause the body discomfort and sense of nothingness.
“Food and pleasure give the body joy and the feeling of worth. The body craves for worldly and bodily pleasure sometimes to the detriment of the spirit. The body always desire something,craving and conpiscence and characteristics of the flesh.
“We fast during lent to humble ourselves and to dispose to heartfelt and effective prayers ,to care for the needs of other people and to take attention away from ourself.
“It helps us to feel the pain and suffering of other people and clear our thought to see and attend to the needs of others. Lent is a time to assist people who are in need, it is a period of rendering selfless service to the people.
He explained that lenten season enables all Christians to participate in the suffering and death of Jesus Christ with the same intensity and zeal with which we celebrate his birth and it is a period for us all to take up our cross and all the discomfort and pain and follow Christ.
The Bishop hinted that it is an obligation for christians and mostly Catholics to offer themselves to God and to show love to their neighbours in union with the sacrifices of Christ.
He posited that sharing in the suffering of death and resurrection of Christ, creates in us, the spirit of christ through discipline, fasting, almsgiving and prayers.