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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ash Wednesday Mass ~ Fast, Pray and Give

ARTICLE BY HELDA JAPANIS
Photos: Helda, Bell and Helen
Sandakan : Due to pastoral reason, Ash Wednesday was celebrated on Tuesday, 17th February in the Diocese of Sandakan. More than 2,000 parishioners attended the Eucharistic celebration, presided over by Fr Thomas Makajil, the rector, at St Mary's Cathedral. 

In his homily, Fr Thomas cited from the old testament on how Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt to Canaan, the 'Promised Land.' The journey in the wilderness lasted for 40 years before the Israelites reached their destination. It is a miraculous event, one that requires much on faith, prayer, repentance, perseverance and God's providence.

In the new testament, he said that the 40-day period that Jesus spent in the wilderness was not only important to the journey of Christ but is equally important to us as followers. Jesus wrestled with uncertainty, temptations overcoming Satan. He was ready for His ministry.

Likewise, we are also tempted while in the wilderness of our lives. We need to withdraw into solitude to build a closer relationship with God, to repent of our sins, seek forgiveness and return to Him.

He reminded the people that 'Ash Wednesday' marks the beginning of the 40-day period of Lent. He touched on the three pillars of Lent; Prayer, Fasting and Alms-giving. We are called to live out our Christian values especially during the Lenten season so that we could be living witnesses as ambassadors of Jesus.
Imposing ashes on the forehead
'Remember, man, you are dust, and unto dust you shall return'

Ash Wednesday at St Mark's Church
More than 1,000 faithful living around the Mile 12 North Road area thronged St Mark's Church to attend 'Ash Wednesday' celebrated in Bahasa Malaysia on 17th February 2015 at 6.30 pm.

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