Archbishop Arshad: May the charity of Lent be for life

The Archbishop of Rawalpindi-Islamabad’s Lenten message sets the path for Easter. The 40 days are a time “to change our lives” by “taking care of the poor”. Praying “can happen at any time and in any place”.

Feb 19, 2021

By Shafique Khokhar
Archbishop Joseph Arshad of Rawalpindi-Islamabad released a message to the faithful on the occasion of Lent.

In it, he writes that Lent is a time in which the “Lord has provided an opportunity to concentrate on our lives, repent, ask forgiveness for our sins and change”.

For the prelate, who heads the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, the 40 days of “Lent are, first of all,” a call “to change our lives and repent by coming back to the Lord”.

To do so, the faithful must recognise “the works of God in your lives for God always strengthens and straightens the ways of those who recognise Him.”

“If we live our lives according to the commands of Jesus, He lives and walks with us and we will be filled with His Light.”

Echoing what Jesus said about fasting, praying and alms giving in the Gospel of Matthew, Archbishop Arshad explains that we must not show off when we engage in these three activities.

“Fasting is very important for all of us, but why do we fast?” he askes.

“There are two important aspects to it: first of all, during fasting we do not drink and eat, we feel pain and suffer, we relate to the suffering and pains of Jesus Christ.”

“The second aspect is that during Lent we deny our desires and save money, but the money we save must be given to those who are suffering and don’t have what is necessary to eat and be clothed.”

“Pope Francis has asked us to experience charity by taking care of the poor and those who need our help,” Archbishop Arshad explained.

“This is what Christianity and the Holy Bible teach us: To go forward and live according to Christian values, not only during the Lenten season but also throughout the year and our life.”

As for praying, the Archbishop of Rawalpindi-Islamabad notes that “it can happen at any time and in any place” and must have “great value in our lives because with prayer we can create a stronger relationship with God the Father.”

To this end, Mgr Arshad encourages individual prayer, family prayer and prayer for this Lent together with the entire Christian community.

Last but not least, the Archbishop has a special message for children. “We are all children of God,” he said. “Jesus gave us the good news and wants us to go with Him. How?” By helping “each other and showing respect to our parents and teachers and do what they ask us.”––Asia News

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