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Give up gossip for what is essential, Pope Francis rallies faithful in Ash Wednesday Homily

Pope Francis is being smeared with ash at Mass in the Basilica of St. Sabina on the Aventine Hill in Rome on Wednesday afternoon – Ash Wednesday – the beginning of the great penitential season of Lent. (COURTESY PHOTO)

VATICAN – Pope Francis summoned Christians to slow down in a fast-paced and often directionless life and fast from the unnecessary things that distract us, to heed Lent that he described as “a wake-up call for the soul”.

The Pope’s words came during the homily at Holy Mass on Ash Wednesday with the blessing and imposition of the ashes that took place, as per tradition, in the Basilica of Saint Sabina on the Aventine Hill.

He noted that this wake-up call is accompanied by the message that the Lord proclaims through the lips of the prophet: “Return to me.”

If we have to return, the Pope said, it means that we have wandered off.

Lent: a time to rediscover the direction of life

“Lent is the time to rediscover the direction of life.  Because in life’s journey, as in every journey, what really matters is not to lose sight of the goal” he said.

The Pope said that during a journey, if we are distracted we will not get far, and he encouraged believers to ask themselves whether they are seeking the way forward in the journey of life or whether they are satisfied with living in the moment and thinking only of feeling good, solving some problems and having fun.

“What is the path?” he said, “Is it the search for health, which many today say comes first but which eventually passes?  Could it be possessions and wellbeing?”

Lenten tips

By Fr. Andy Lee

March 7, 2019:

(Thursday after Ash Wednesday)

Read: Luke 9:23

If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it

A moment of silence to meditate on the Word of God

Reflect:

To be a disciple of Jesus is a personal decision and choice. Do I consider myself a follower or a disciple of Jesus?

To be a disciple of Jesus involves making sacrifices. What must I renounce or give up in order to follow Jesus?

To be a disciple of Jesus means putting him first in my life. How do I make Jesus the Lord of my life?

Pray: Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you because, in spite of my unworthiness and weaknesses, you still call me to follow you and be your disciple.

Therefore, give me the grace to respond to your call and the strength to do your will every day of my life. Amen.

“Do not be afraid to be saints. Follow Jesus Christ who is the source of freedom and light. Be opened to the Lord so that He may lighten all your ways.” Pope John Paul II

 

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