From the Desk of your Pastor, to his beloved members of Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Fort Cochin, on the 22nd of February 2012, the Ash Wednesday,

The season of Lent prepares us for and leads us to the celebration of the Christ-Event, the passion, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Easter Triduum. It is a season which developed over the first six centuries as a combination of the final preparation for catechumens (candidates for baptism) for initiation into Christian life and to the Church, the penitential discipline for reconciling sinners to the Church and the desire of good living Christians to undergo an annual period of conversion. Thus, the two elements essential to this season are those of preparation for baptism for the uninitiated and renewal of baptism for the baptized faithful, and penance. Lent, therefore, has a baptismal and penitential character.

For many adults across the world this Lent marks the final intense phase of preparation for their initiation into the Church at the Easter Vigil. For those of us already baptized it is a time to recall our own baptism and its implication for us as Christians as we prepare to renew our own baptismal promises at Easter Night. Such preparation naturally leads to examination of one’s life and thus to penance. Lent gives us a time in which we can renew our baptism, reawakening its dynamism in our life and allowing ourselves to undergo a change of heart, a conversion, a metanoia.

Thus during Lent we are called to renewal, conversion, a change of heart, a metanoia. Through the liturgical celebrations of the season we are called to repent and turn back to God. Led by Jesus and his Spirit, the pilgrim people of God make their annual journey of renewal, listening to the Word of God, becoming more ardent in prayer and more devoted to works of penance and concern for others in charity. Through the acts of our penance we are given an opportunity to be reconciled with God, with our neighbour and with ourselves. May Almighty God shower on us his choicest blessings and graces during this holy lent so that we may be enlightened to seek a new way of life, a new Christian living. May God bless us all.

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