March 15, 2009 11:13:14 pm
The season of Lent symbolises fasting and prayers as done by Jesus to redeem mankind
The season of Lent is a time to introspect,to forgive and to prepare oneself for the coming of the feast of Easter when Christ rose from his tomb and was resurrected. It is a time of observing penance and prayer to become one with Christ,” says Rev Father Alfred Baretto,of the St Ignatius Church in Khadki.
The period of 40 days that begins on Ash Wednesday and culminates on Good Friday is known as the period of Lent,which according to Christian belief is the time period spent by Christ in the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil three times,and after which he began teaching the people. The period of 40 days has many references in the Bible; it is akin to the period that Moses spent on Mount Sinai or the rains that God had caused when Noah was in his ark. The period is a time of solemn fasting and tolerance for people of both factions of Christianity-The Roman Catholics and the Protestants.
Elaborating more about the season,Father Baretto explains,”The reason why Christ came to this world was to redeem mankind which had been steeped in sin and malpractices for generations. When he went into the wilderness for 40 days,he did so to understand his own role in redeeming mankind. The Bible states that god wanted to restore man’s image as that of his own which had been tarnished due to sin.”
Elaborating more on the thought is Rev Father Malcolm Sequeira,parish priest of the St Patrick’s Church. He says,”In today’s fast paced world,fasting and praying is something that doesn’t come easily to people. However,this season enables people to forget their problems and become one with Christ.”
“The last week of the season,is also called the- Holy Week,which begins with Palm Sunday. The last three days of the week,namely Thursday,Friday and Saturday symbolise the passion of Christ where he was betrayed by Judas,and was crucified and then resurrected on the third day. The festival of Easter is a remembrance of this very resurrection and marks the ending of Lent,” he adds.
Father Sebastian Mony of St Patrick’s Church says,”We usually have something called the Station of the Cross during this season every Friday,where problems of today’s current generations are discussed via teachings from the Bible. Also in addition to this,there are other prayer meetings,discussions and blessings held throughout the season. In the Holy Week there are masses held on Maundy Thursday,Good Friday and the Easter Vigil mass on Saturday,which is presided over by Bishop Valerian D’souza. The theme for this year’s season of Lent is- Hope and Forgiveness,which is a symbol for all people around the world that in spite of all the violence,and other problems that are corroding the society there is a way to be good again.”
“With all the cynicism and negativity plaguing people in general,the season is a time to sit up and pray and hope for a better tomorrow,and also foster the feeling of oneness and brotherhood in these trying times,” adds father Sebastian before concluding.
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