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Pope Francis, Seasons and Feast Days

Pope Francis’ message for Lent 2021: A Time for Renewing Faith, Hope and Love

In his Lenten message published on Friday, February 12, 2021, Pope Francis calls upon us to renew our Faith, Hope and Love especially for those greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic by accepting and living the truth revealed in Christ, drawing from the living waters of hope and to experience Lent with love while following in the footsteps of Christ.

The Holy Father explains that “accepting and living the truth revealed in Christ means, first of all, opening our hearts to God’s word.” And through fasting, “experienced as a form of self-denial,” we rediscover God’s gift and recognize that, created in His image and likeness, we find our fulfillment in Him.” We also learn to love God and our neighbour.

Lent is a time for believing, for welcoming God into our lives and allowing him to “make his dwelling” among us, the Pope said.

Relating Hope to the “living water” that Jesus offers the Samaritan woman at the well, which was the Holy Spirit whom he will give in abundance through the paschal mystery, Pope Francis encourages us to be concerned with “speaking words of comfort, strength, consolation and encouragement, and not words that demean, sadden, anger or show scorn.” And in order to give hope to others, it is sometimes enough simply to be kind, to be “willing to set everything else aside in order to show interest, to give the gift of a smile, to speak a word of encouragement, to listen amid general indifference” 

Love rejoices in seeing others grow. Hence it suffers when others are anguished, lonely, sick, homeless, despised or in need. Love is a leap of the heart; it brings us out of ourselves and creates bonds of sharing and communion. 

He continues to say that, “to experience Lent with love means caring for those who suffer or feel abandoned and fearful because of the Covid-19 pandemic.” In our charity, may we speak words of reassurance and help others to realize that God loves them as sons and daughters.

Dear brothers and sisters, every moment of our lives is a time for believing, hoping and loving. The call to experience Lent as a journey of conversion, prayer and sharing of our goods, helps us – as communities and as individuals – to revive the faith that comes from the living Christ, the hope inspired by the breath of the Holy Spirit and the love flowing from the merciful heart of the Father.

May Mary, Mother of the Saviour, ever faithful at the foot of the cross and in the heart of the Church, sustain us with her loving presence. May the blessing of the risen Lord accompany all of us on our journey towards the light of Easter.

Read in full: Pope Francis’ Message for Lent 2021

 

 

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