“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward, he was hungry”. Matthew 4: 1-2
Last March 6, 2019, the Lourdes College community gathered as one family in commemorating the Ash Wednesday as the start of the Penitential Season of Lent through a Eucharistic Celebration at the LC Auditorium. Rev. Joseph Gatdula, FDCC, the mass presider, reminded each Lourdesian of the real essence of the Ash Wednesday and the Lent Season. He also emphasized that when one come forward to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, it is the way of asking for forgiveness to correct and purify one’s heart.
Lent has been a traditional time for fasting, prayer, and almsgiving to mirror the experience of Jesus Christ in the desert before the start of His public ministry and to prepare each one for the joyful celebration of the Paschal Mystery. Traditionally, fasting during the 40 days of Lent requires only one full meal a day and two small snacks and refraining from eating meats especially on Friday. However, in this millennial generation, we can choose to abstain from something in particular like a food item or luxuries like chocolate or caffeine, a particular habit like drinking, smoking, or backbiting, give up social media or even using our phones.
As Lourdesians, fasting is a way to strive for excellence holistically. It is denying ourselves of the excesses of life so that might be more attuned to the Lord’s voice. We discipline ourselves and strengthen our “spiritual muscles” so to speak, so that when temptations arise in life, we are already used to not be faltered by inducement, and a way of participating, in a small way, in the sufferings of Christ and can be particularly powerful when accompanied by prayer and confession.
“No of virtue can be great it is not followed by an advantage for others. So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually if you do no good to others, you do nothing great”. John Chrysostom, Pope Francis also quoted.
A very important element of the Lenten season is becoming aware of not only the suffering and sacrifice of Christ but also the suffering of others. As empowered servant leaders for the common good, we must commit to extend our humble service through community involvement programs. We also aim to perform one positive act which can include small things like calling up someone who is alone, donating to a worthy cause, clearing up after dinner or letting someone go ahead of us in a line.
Finally, with our faith as Lourdesians, as we commemorate the mystery of the Lord’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection, through our weekly Stations of the Cross, it requires us constant reflection in order for the mystery to be fully assimilated in our hearts and appreciated in our everyday lives.
(Dave Chanler A. Ipulan – Blue Sash Correspondent)