From the Desk of Father Nathan | February 14, 2021
A Message from Father Nathan
My dearest people who are all close to my heart!
Ash Wednesday | The Beginning of Lent
“Repent and believe in the Gospel”
“Repent and believe in the Gospel” is the captivating sentence as we begin the holy season of Lent. For any Roman Catholic Church, the suffering the death of Christ is the mystery of our faith. Our faith revolves around this.
Symbolic Meaning of the Ashes
Ash Wednesday opens up the season – ashes from the palms of the preceding year’s Palm Sunday are burned and blessed. With these ashes, the priest marks a cross on the foreheads of worshipers saying “Remember man that dust thou art and unto dust, you shall return.” (– Genesis 3:19)
Besides showing sorrow for their sins those who honor Ash Wednesday add an additional meaning the need to prepare for a holy death. Ash Wednesday is one of the most popular and important holy days in the liturgical calendar. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer. Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday and is chiefly observed by Catholics although many other Christians observe it too.
Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us.
Today as the ashes are applied to a person’s forehead these words are spoken: “Remember that you were dust and to dust you shall return.” Alternatively the words “Repent and believe in the Gospel”.
Ashes also symbolize grief that we have sinned and caused division from God. Ash Wednesday is not directly mentioned in the Bible, however, from Biblical times, sprinkling oneself with ashes has been a mark of sorrow for sin. Several times the Bible mentions people repenting in dust and ashes for example Esther 4 1 Job 42.6 the inhabitants of Nineveh Jonah 3:5-6 and Daniel 9:3-4.
Repentance in dust and ashes often accompanied fasting during Biblical times.
As we begin the holy season of Lent let us plunge into the mood of this meaningful season. Let us get into the shoes of Christ. Let us commemorate the suffering and death and resurrection of Christ. We shall pray the Stations of the Cross in our parish.
May God bless you all!
Ever wanting to be faithful to your service,
With love and blessings,
—Fr. Sahayanathan Nathan
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Past Messages from Father Nathan
At the Easter Vigil, the Exsultet is sung as Mass begins in darkness, illumined only by candles throughout the church. The Exsultet is a beautiful hymn of rejoicing in Christ’s triumph of sin and death.
Holy Week is also called “Passion Week” begins on Palm Sunday and continues to Easter Sunday. Holy Week provided an opportunity for all the faithful to reflect on their personal sinfulness and their need for Christ and His sacrifice on our behalf.
This is the year of Saint Joseph December 8, 2020, is the 15th anniversary of the Declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter entitled Patris corde (“With a Father’s Heart”).
What is Holy Mass?
What we do and why do we do this?
Vatican II, bulletin 1324 said the following: – The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” 136 ‘the other sacraments and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented towards it.
What is the Sacrament of Confession? Why do we need confession? What are the benefits of going to confession? The Sacrament of Confession is one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of Catholicism. Jesus Christ, in His abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Confession so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God, our neighbors, and the Church.
The Mysteries of our Faith. As the Lenten Season has started please make all the efforts possible to participate in the liturgy and other pious activities of the church. These are the ways and means we are able to understand the mystery of Christ…