March 2021

Dearly beloved in Christ,

Greetings in the matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

“Lent stimulates us to let the Word of God penetrate our life and, in this way, to know the fundamental truth: who we are, where we come from, where we must go, what path we must take in life…”

Pope Benedict XVI

On February 17th Ash Wednesday we started this year’s Forty Days lent Journey. We are not walking in a new path rather we walk in the wilderness journey of Jesus Christ. Our hunger for God purifies our life and leads to fundamental truth; and the set apart life reform ourselves as a true witness of Christ in this world.

Along with Jesus we walk with Moses on Mount Sinai for forty days receiving the covenant; it is a journey of revelation. We walk with Elijah to Mount Horeb for forty days, where he listens to the “still,small voice,” the silence of God; it is a journey of prayer. We walk with the Israelites for forty years in the desert seeking the Promised Land; it is a journey of homecoming. We live with Noah on the Arkfor forty days; it is a journey of new life. The forty days of Lent invites to face our temptations and repents on our sin, but more deeply than merely admitting our wrongdoings and shortcomings.Repentance is not ego-bashing; it is turning away from the things in which we have sought life, that cannot give life towards God the abundant Source instead of turning. We embrace our suffering, not because we deserve to be hurt, but because we are learning not to be scared off by difficulty in search for true Life.

Lent is not a time of punishment or deprivation, but it is the time of deeper receiving: mindfulness and opening more deeply to God’s grace-filled presence. So, we have to be like as Mathew 6:16-18 says“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you,they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Lent is time of becoming a seed waiting in the darkness to open to the miracle of resurrection yet to come. And it is a time when we plant ourselves in the mystery of God and waiting in simplicity and humility. We wait because it says right on the seed packet,“Germination time: forty days.

As we enter in to the third week of 40 days of the Lenten season, we find ourselves preparing for Holy Week beginning with Palm Sunday on March 28. As a believer preparation for Holy Week is to remember our calling and renewal of our commitment to Jesus’s calling. Let us continue this journey as a renewed person.

May God bless you all.

In His Service Yours
Shalu Achen