Tawau : Entering the Season of Lent by receiving the ash as a symbol of repentance gives us hope and confidence in the merciful heart of Jesus. We are to turn back to God, to focus on Christ, not merely in this season but for our entire lives. This season leads us to examine our lives, to leave behind our old ways and to pray that we be led to holiness.
Some 1,200 parishioners of Holy Trinity Church, Tawau gathered to celebrate Ash Wednesday on 13th February 2013. Though it was raining, it did not dampen the spirit of the parishioners to attend the 7.30 pm Eucharistic celebration, marking the start of the 40 days Lenten season in preparation for Easter.
In his homily, Msgr. Nicholas Ong touched on the meaning of Lent , 'As we enter the Lent season, let us examine ourselves deeply especially in our daily routine. Do we put ourselves in the presence of the Lord most of the time or is God edged out from our lives? Lent is a time for us to have the confidence and courage to turn away from earthly things and focus more on preparation for salvation given freely by God. We need to turn away from sin and deny ourselves from all earthly pleasures, focusing our mind to the light of salvation.'
Parishioners are reminded to reflect on their spiritual lives especially in this Year of Faith, their commitment on the gift of life given freely through Christ's resurrection. We are to open our hearts to the loving touch of our Lord, to come and present our sinful lives to our forgiving God. This season is a journey towards freedom, so we are to raise our hearts to Him and evaluate - where do we stand?
He concluded by inviting all parishioners to continue their effort to know and experience God's guidance and forgiveness as we enter this Lent season with hope and blessing.
|Msgr and EMCs mark the sign of the cross with ashes on the foreheads of faithful with the words, 'Repent and believe in the Gospel.'|