By Renee Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ash Wednesday calls for Church and nation to reflect in a deeper way what should be done every year and every day, says Archbishop Jason Gordon.
He made this comment while preaching the homily at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church, San Fernando at the 11.45 a.m. Mass which included pupils of the nearby St Gabriel’s Girls’ and San Fernando Boys’ RC schools.
As the nation ended its annual Carnival celebrations yesterday (Tuesday 5), the Archbishop said to use the joy experienced during the Carnival season as part of one’s “spiritual regeneration” for Lent.
“The contrast between the Carnival and the Ash Wednesday is what Church gives to us, to help us in this joyful season of repentance.”
He noted that many persons do not think of Lent as a joyous season but explained it is in fact so as the “endgame of Lent is that we become much, much closer to Jesus Christ”.
Archbishop Gordon also gave some pointers for maximising the three tenets of Lent (Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving) by referring to the Archdiocese’s current focus on Hymns, Homilies and Hospitality.
“These practices work individually but they also work together,” he commented. For hymns, he suggested listening to sacred music during the 40 days opposed to secular genres as it is one way to reconnect with God, while for homilies persons should practice more Lectio Divina (Divine Reading).
Speaking passionately on ‘hospitality’, Archbishop Gordon reminded those gathered of the positive effects of practising hospitality daily.
He said, “Hospitality is recognising the need of others. Let us reach out to those in need by reaching Christ in the disguise of the poor…Rather than clutching your purse and walking a little faster, give something. Forget whether they are using the money wisely because if you or I were in that position we would be praying someone helps us.”
Crucifixion – asking subversive questions