Today we begin the season of Lent once again. It is a time when we are called to look deeply at our own spiritual life and to ask ourselves just one question: Do we truly live in our daily lives the faith of Jesus Christ?
-Bishop Farrell, in his Lenten Message video for 2014
Transcript - English
Today we begin the season of Lent once again. It is a time when we are called to look deeply at our own spiritual life and to ask ourselves just one question: Do we truly live in our daily lives the faith of Jesus Christ? When I was young and growing up, and it was the beginning of the Lenten season, one thing that will always cross my mind was, what am I going to give up this year for Lent? Of course, unfortunately, we never accomplish most of the things that we promise to give up. But, I would like to ask you one thing today, and that is that rather than giving up the many things that we should give up anyway…that we look at those things that separate us from living our Catholic faith and one suggestion would be that we look more at how we exercise and how we put into practice the virtue of charity, and by charity I mean how we deal with each other, how we accept that fundamental principle of Christianity that my brother, my sister is created in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ.
How often we hear, and how often we too - in the way we speak about other people - we fail to respect their dignity, we fail to respect their opinion. I will invite all of us to be very careful about how we treat each other. We should be Christ like. Can we ever imagine Christ being harsh, being abrupt, being uncaring about somebody else? No, we cannot. So let us focus in this Lent on this virtue of charity. Let us look at our brothers and sisters, those who are close to us. It doesn’t mean we have to agree with everything they do or everything they say, but we have to correct them in a charitable and kind way. So I would invite you to more to look during this Lent at those things that separate us from the Christian way of life than those many other possible things that we could do and we could give up.
The second point, I would like to invite you to reflect on during this Lent is the mercy and forgiveness of the God almighty. God always is willing to forgive us. We should always remember that we can walk away from God many times, but God will not walk away from us. When we separate from him, and we all do, let us be humble enough to fall on our knees, to go back and to seek out that forgiveness from God almighty in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Let us also remember that every now and then we do say the prayer that Jesus taught us, the Our Father, and in that prayer there is one phrase that I would like to remind you about today, and that is: We pray to God almighty “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Forgiveness, yes, we ask forgiveness from God almighty because we have offended him, but we too, just as God will always forgiven us, we too must be willing to forgive those who offend us as we pray so fervently in the Our Father.
I wish you all and I pray that you will have a very spiritual, deep, and renewing time of Lent. May God bless you all.