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Today is Ash Wednesday

Mar 9, 2011, 1:52 PM

“Let us build the Christian family of Christ” is the message of the Lenten Pastoral Letter 2011 sent by Bishop Robert P. Ellison Bishop of Banjul to the Catholic faithful.

In the pastoral letter addressed to “Dear brothers and sisters in Christ”, the bishop stated that during lent each year, “the church invites us to take a close look at our lives in the light of the Gospel”.

It continued: “As we receive the ashes on our forehead on Ash Wednesday, we are told: ‘repent and believe in the Gospel’. These simple words are a far greater challenge to our faith than the older formula that we used to hear: ‘Remember that you are dust and into dust you shall return’”.

The bishop went on: “And so this year, I invite you to take this ‘acceptable time’ to pray, to reflect and to work together on building up the Christian Family on Christ who is our Rock. The church has always reminded us of the importance of the family as the foundation of its own life as well as that of society itself.

“Even outside the religious sphere, the family has, until recently, been accepted as the basic building block for a healthy society.

“Unfortunately, in the last ten or twenty years, we have witnessed the adverse effects of the breakdown of family life, especially among young people.

“Suicide, drugs, delinquency and other various forms of violence have become a major cause of concern”.

Lent begins from Ash Wednesday in the life of true Christians, because it enables people to fast and abstain themselves from bad deeds, and it reorganizes ones true life for the purpose of the kingdom of God.

Lent also starts from signing of ashes on the forehead of Christians, especially Catholics; it also calls for sharing the little thing one has with the under privileged.

This is a time when people should also take a stock of their deeds, and repent to God to forgive them their sins.

Fasting plays a prominent part in the season of Lent; this is a period where Christians fast for 40 days and 40 nights.

During this important Lent season, people should forgive each other and continue prayers.

Lets us continue to worship God.

We would like to welcome our Christian Sisters and brothers to the period of Lent.