Thousands of Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur converged at Churches and Chapels, on Feb 10 to celebrate Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Season of Lent. Despite Wednesday being a working day for most, and not a day of obligation, yet all the parishes registered full house, with many having two or three Masses. The Church of Sacred of Jesus saw a full house at the 6.30am morning mass and at evening mass at 7pm. It was the same at the Chapel of
Our Lady of Good Health, Kampung Pandan where the Mass was celebrated at 7.30pm by the parish priest, Fr Edwin Paul.
Imposition of ash ashes on our forehead symbolizes our mortality as well as our need for ongoing repentance and conversion of heart and mind and to seek holiness of life, in preparation for Easter, which falls on March 27.
At the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at 7pm Mass, where Fr Clarence Devadass celebrated, the Church was packed to the hilt. As it has been a practiced
after his homily, he blessed the ashes with Holy Water and after having said a prayer, Fr Clarence together with Bro Dominic Tan and 11 Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion then imposed the ashes on the foreheads of the faithful. In his homily, Fr Clarence said we are entering into another Season of the Church- LENT, where we make a spiritual journey in our prayer, penance, alms-giving into journeying to become faithful and obedience to the Lord, preparing us to Easter. Concluding further, Fr Clarence said, Lent is often associated with fasting, charity, Lenten campaign. In today’s Gospel Reading talks about prayer, fasting, alms-giving, good deeds, acts of charity, of piety we are doing. There is much more to make Lent a special time, added Fr Clarence.
The diocesan priest who is Director of API, quoted from the Second “Reading ‘Ä favourable time”, that means to point to you. A time, turning back to God. Fr Clarence said that the Coming of Christ is a favourable time, about a new beginning. Whether we choose to do like fasting or prayer, all our actions must point towards a new beginning. We can fast and abstained from meat for 40 days and then go back to our normal life; but all must point towards a new beginning, a new beginning in our hearts, turning to a new way of life, repentance and accepting the Word of God.
Fr Clarence added that we must re-look at these age old traditions, practices like acts of charity; and see how these impacted our lives. Not purely an external actions or traditions, but see what difference or new beginning it brings to our lives.” We need to have a new start, a new heart- conversion, change the way we live our lives”.
He further said ashes are not a magic thing, but a reminder for us to renew our lives in humility and transform us, to be truly disciples of Jesus Christ. Turn away from sin and reach out to others in love and compassion, that God calls each one of us.
After Mass, Fr Clarence introduced “Lenten Prayer Companion 2016”, a booklet of 191 pages, that was published by the Archdiocesan Pastoral Institute (API). A sort of Lenten Retreat Journal that last for 40 days of daily Scripture, Reflection on the word of God, A Touch of Mercy and Prayer, that can assist and transform us to be merciful. Fr Clarence said he brought a few dozens, which later all copies were snapped up, quite quickly for it cost only RM 5.00 ringgit.
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ashwednesday, cgh, lent, shj