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Archbishop: Fast from post-Carnival events

Published: 
Thursday, February 15, 2018
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Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon give ashes to students of St Gabriel’s Girls RC School during the ash Wednesday service at our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Harris Promenade, San Fernando yesterday. Photo by:TONY HOWELL

Archbishop Jason Gordon yesterday asked Roman Catholics not to partake in any of the post-Carnival celebrations during the Lenten season which began yesterday.

Delivering the homily at the Ash Wednesday mass at Pro-Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in San Fernando to mark the beginning of Lent, Gordon said, “I am asking you during this Lent that we take the season of Lent very seriously. Don’t partake in any of the post-Carnival celebrations that are taking place. That’s an encroachment on this sacred season. Don’t take part in it. Keep the Lent as Lent, observe it as Lent. Keep in the spiritual discipline for these 40-days at the end of this time, I assure you, God will do something marvelous with us as a people.”

During this time, Christians abandon a pleasurable habit as an act of devotion and self-discipline.

Gordon said many people dealt with God, like how they would deal with a grocery list.

“I need to go to PriceSmart. I need to go to JTA. God really is the reference for everything else we need to do. This time of Lent is a call to make God most important in our lives and it starts with our prayer. Are we going to set aside a period of time every single day where we sit with God and we give God back that relationship and we build that relationship with Him, that is the prayer? We move from prayer to fasting.”

He said people could abstain from something they really enjoyed like chocolates or desserts.

“Almsgiving the money that we save by not eating the chocolates or drinking the sweet drink or having the cakes that money doesn’t come to us that money is give to the poor because we recognised that we have been so blessed by God and we recognise also that there are so many people who do not have what they need.”

Saying that people spent so much time gratifying themselves, he said: “There’s never been a generation that needed that gospel reading more than our generation because the gospel is basically saying, no self-promotion.”

He reiterated his call to people to fast from WhatsApp messenger, social media or using their phones to promote themselves.

“We could give up promoting ourselves using social media. We could even give up WhatsApp or if we were to fast from the phone for two hours every day.”

Asking worshippers to put God first during the 40 days of fasting by following the three spiritual practices, take up something, give up something and give away something.

“At the end of that, we would experience the regeneration in Easter time. If we stick with the programme, we will experience the rebirth. You, your family will experience it and the church will know it and experience it.”

Parish priest Martin Sirju endorsed the Archbishop’s homily, to be honest and sincere and truthful in everything one does.

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