March 2022

Dearly Beloved in Christ,

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

Every season in our Liturgical year is a blessing to us. Even though, each season has its own significance among which, the season of lent gives us enormous opportunity for reflection, repentance & renewal. This season of lent is unique, because it helps us with the ‘spiritual manna’ through its meditations, devotions, fasting, praying and almsgiving. Furthermore, lent would also help us to enter close communion with Jesus, as we ponder upon our sinful nature and turn away from our past sinful lives and to strive towards a life with Christ. Lent makes us to realize that we are only fragile and sinful human beings, and we must rely on God’s strength. In other words, this is a time of ‘spiritual festivity’ in which we all of us prepare ourselves to reflect and remember about Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross, the death and celebration of the Resurrection.

Reflection

This Lenten season is a time of self-reflection of our mind, heart, soul, work, and deed, which are the prime of our day today activities. The season of lent is not strictly fasting physically; rather it is a self-reflection of one’s own life and faith journey. We look at the mirror to observe our physical appearance & beauty through that we could sense our outward looks. Likewise, during the Lenten season, we ought to look at ourselves and find out the inequities. But self-reflection sometimes would be difficult for us because we are curious to identify mistakes from others than to reflect upon ourselves.

Electronic gadgets like computers, laptops and mobile phones are required of its antivirus to detect the virus. Similarly, constantly we should aware and search for the virus found in our lives and God’s forgiveness to delete our viruses such as egoistic nature, envy, self-pride etc. Moreover, each day we are surrounded by things that compete for our affections, when we say “no” to the distractions of the world, some of the evil thoughts convince us to get attracted to it. Therefore, this is the right time to overcome from all those distractions by the power of word of God for that we need to have qualities such as: Reflection on Self Awareness and Reflection on Spiritual Discipline.

 Repentance

What does it mean to truly repent? The Greek word for repentance that is used in the Gospel is ‘metanoia’, which literally means “to change of mind” necessarily entails a profound interior conversation, in which we firmly turn from worldly darkness, and embrace a new way of life as God’s children. It means a change of attitude; anyone confronting God has to undergo this transformation. Otherwise, there is no repentance. Our prime concern should be that we change our life first and strive to create such change in the life of others. Biblically God’s servant, John the Baptist preached the “Gospel of repentance” and warned that unless they bear the fruits of repentance, the forgiveness of sins would be difficult (Mark 1: 4) The effort to repent is a sign of our involvement to the experience of Christ who fasted in the desert for 40 days in the wilderness. Jesus has been inviting us to live our faith constantly through repentance, i.e., to express our attitude of repentance during the Lent. Hence, we should be willing to leave behind our tendency toward sin; only focusing and trusting our lives on Jesus Christ. If at all there is a great joy in the spiritual world, it will be due to the repentance of a sinner. (Luke 15:7) Some people think that repentance reveals human weakness, our failure, or mistakes but this is not true. The first sermon Jesus preached was to “repent and believe in the gospel”. (MK1:15) As we enter with the attitude of repentance in the season of lent, let us strive for fervent repentance through that we could conform ourselves with the will of God. Repentance may also sometimes engage us to regret or sorrow over having lived our lives under the bondage of sin, to achieve that we need to repent on: Repentance on self-centeredness and Repentance on Self Discontentment.

Renewing

Striving for the right relationship with God and fellow human beings is the process of renewing life. Renewing is a process; it’s not a one-time achievement. If anyone realizes that he or she has not lived, how God wanted them to live. The season of Lent is the right time to reflect on each ones works and deeds and to repent on the sinful acts, and then the process of renewal would take place. The act of renewal reminds us of our commitment to God and our desire to thirst for God’s presence throughout ours. Furthermore, we need to affirm that God is the true author of our process of renewing life. Many a times we cannot stop certain thoughts entering our mind, but through word of God we need to overcome as Paul rightly writes in Philippians 4:9 “A renewed mind should lead to changed behavior”. To achieve such changes in life, we need to be with Christ who is giver of all wisdom and knowledge and leads us to the right path. Our responsibility to renew our mind should get rid of gossips, envy, selfishness, self-pride and to put on patience, compassion, and love towards one another and to follow discipline are very important.

May God bless you all.

In His Service Yours

Shalu Achen