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February 29, 2020

Lent reminds we are children of God – bishop


Bishop Lawrence Sydney Nicasio.

Many of us made resolutions for the new year. These resolutions tell how better can be done. Persons could have decided, at the beginning of this new year, to listen to the voice of complacency, the voice calling us not to stand up to evil, but faithful are called to “truly embrace” the holy forty days of Lent, a journey of reconciliation and love.

It is a journey, “which renews individuals and communities, [and] bids us keep our gaze fixed on Jesus, who reconciled all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross” (Pope Francis’ 2020 New Year’s Message, p12).

Bishop Lawrence Nicasio of Belize City and Belmopan, in his Lenten message to the diocese, said “Let the ashes we receive to start this journey be a powerful reminder to us that we must clean up this spiritual temple we call our body. Repent and be true to the Gospel, the Word of God! We are more than just children. We are children of God…children of the light and not of darkness….”.

The full text of the bishop’s message was published in the diocesan monthly, The Christian Herald.

The bishop began by saying that there is no vagrant or wandering priest who operates on his own for himself. Each priest belongs to a diocese, a bishop or religious superior. Each person born into this world is a child of God.

“This is why we must always evaluate this relationship each of us have with Him. Do we live a life expressing that we truly belong to God and are God’s pickney?” he questioned.

In listening to Jesus, Bishop Nicasio said, persons cannot help but follow His example. As His followers, Jesus points us to the cross and faithful must take up their crosses and walk in His footsteps.

He quoted St Oscar Romero about life and the cross: “The cross is our touchstone. We hit our life on the cross and we see what it sounds like. It sounds like cowardice, like fear, like the thoughts of humans and not of God. The cross is the authentic proof of the person who wants to follow Christ. Because of this the Lord says: let those who want to follow me take up their crosses” (65, Through the Year with Oscar Romero).

Bishop Nicasio then called on all to do their part: “Let your light shine for all to see. Let His will be done in us!”