The Church is inviting us to the grace of the season of Great Lent. We begin our 50 days of renewal of our lives on February 24, the Ash Monday. Our holy Mother Church always offers us hope: hope in the love of our Heavenly Father and hope in the joyful destiny of our eternal life with God. Let us joyfully prepare ourselves to celebrate the Lent, trusting in the love of our Heavenly Father.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis speaks in his Lenten Message that “God in his providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion”. Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life.”
The Holy Father reminds us that we do many things during Lent like abstinence, prayer, acts of discipline, charity and so on. All these are “sacramental signs of conversion.” Conversion of our hearts is the focus of Lent. We may diligently complete all special Lenten practices and our commitments or we might fail. Conversion of our hearts – lives – should but happen. Before we begin Lent on February 12, let us prayerfully ask the lord the areas of conversion in our lives.
Conversion means, to Pope Francis, ‘a coming back to the Lord.’ This
is something we should desire and discern during this Lent. Coming back
to Lord reminds us the welcome the prodigal Son received at his Fathers
house. The forgiving embrace, the rings of dignity, and the celebration
of joy. May this season of Lent help us to experience the same in our
Conversion is also needed in our parish life. Conversion is not
simply an individual act alone. Our parish family also should ‘come back
to the Lord.’ The choices we make, the plans we propose, the duties and
responsibilities we undertake, the celebrations we look for – all these
are to be planned and executed in such a way that our parish family
would come back to the Lord and become His sons and daughters.