By Blaise Elumezie
Just this week, Catholics and other religious organizations all over the world gathered on Wednesday, the 14th of February, 2018 to perform the annual mark of Ashes on forehead, in their respective Churches.
The Lenten period begins with the mark of Ashes on forehead. It lasts for 40 days and calls for an in-depth reflection on the life style and activity of every Christian, as it relates to his or her relationship with God.
It is a season that reminds Christians all over the world that “they are dust and to dust they shall return.”
Little wonder, the Parishioners at St. Francis Catholic Church, Rumuokwuta, Rivers State, were admonished to take advantage of the season to ensure that their abstinence, not just on meat, but on some of their luxurious ways of living, were carried out to benefit the less privileged in the society.
According to the parish priest, those left over foods, as a result of self denial should not be reserved or consumed later, but to be channeled to the indigent people in the neighbourhood and society at large.
The Lenten season is a time for service and inward spiritual repentance, and an act of contrition which provides the opportunity for us (Christians) to honour our journey with Christ by living our lives the way Christ lived His.
The life of Christ was hinged on love for all people, hence the need for us to replicate same to follow Christians and non-Christians alike, particularly to the poor people in our midst.
Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lenten season and ends with another significant Holy day; the Easter Sunday. The day, Christians believe that Christ resurrected after His crucifixion on the Cross of Calvary.
The season is indeed a time for total commitment and sacrifice through personal decision, but in accordance with the exemplary life lived by our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Let us, above all, remember to give alms to the needy around us and pray God to use the season to reach out to each and every one of us (Christians), and non-Christians in Nigeria and the world all over, according to our needs.