On Ash Wednesday we mark our foreheads with the sign of the Cross, reminding us that we are “to repent and believe the Gospel’!

In his message for Lent, the Holy Father reminds us that “Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life… I would like again this year to help the entire Church experience this time of grace anew, with joy and in truth. I will take my cue from the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (24:12).

Overcoming sin and warming our hearts for love is the task ahead for the next forty days, not relying on our own strength but on the fidelity of God. As Pope Francis explains: I urge the members of the Church to take up the Lenten journey with enthusiasm, sustained by almsgiving, fasting and prayer. If, at times, the flame of charity seems to die in our own hearts, know that this is never the case in the heart of God! He constantly gives us a chance to begin loving anew.”

May a profound journey through Lent lead us to the vibrancy of Easter!

Fr. (Dr.) S.M. Michael SVD