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What is Lent?

Appreciate the beauty of the Lenten Season.

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What is Lent?

  1. 1. THE SEASON OF LENTWednesday, March 6, 13
  2. 2. What is Lent? • Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends with the celebration of the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday) • 40 days (#40 is a significant symbol in the Old and New Testaments) • Lent is a primary season of repentance for all Christians, reflecting the forty days Jesus spent in the desert in fasting and prayer (540, 1095, 1438)." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, Glossary • A season of penance, reflection and fasting which helps us remember what Jesus did for us and prepares us for Christ’s resurrection.Wednesday, March 6, 13
  3. 3. We Accompany Our Lord on the Road to Calvary • The Way of the Cross - Lent is a time to reflect, to walk with Jesus on the road to Calvary and meditate on our own sinfulness which has caused Jesus’ suffering.Wednesday, March 6, 13
  4. 4. What Catholics Do Ash Wednesday • Following the example of the Ninevites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes (Jonah 3:5-10) who repented of their sins led by their king to prevent the disaster Jonah prophesied. • Our foreheads are marked with ashes. This is to humble our hearts and remind us that life passes away on Earth. • We remember this when we are told "Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return."Wednesday, March 6, 13
  5. 5. • Distribution of Ashes - ashes are made from the burning of palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday. The priest blesses the ashes and sprinkles them with holy water. • Fasting - Catholics over 18 and younger than 60 are required to fast. (1 complete meal + 2 small ones only throughout the day) • Abstinence - Catholics above 14 are required not to eat meat or any food made of meat.Wednesday, March 6, 13
  6. 6. What Catholics Do Palm Sunday (March 24, 2013) - On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season; Sunday before Easter. • We celebrate our Lords triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. He was welcomed as “King” and was a courageous statement against the Sanhedrin. Zechariah 9:9 “See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey...” • It also marks the beginning of Holy Week; a Holy Day of ObligationWednesday, March 6, 13
  7. 7. What Catholics Do Holy Thursday (March 28, 2013) • Last Supper of Jesus with His apostles - a Passover Meal - Jesus is the lamb that is sacrificed. • Institution of 2 things: (1) Sacrament of the Eucharist (2) Sacerdotal Priesthood - priests as ministers of the Holy Eucharist who lead us in offering the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus each Mass.Wednesday, March 6, 13
  8. 8. What Catholics Do Good Friday (March 29, 2013) • We try to understand the cost of our salvation-- how Jesus suffered and died for us. (Way of the Cross, Adoration of the Cross) • Traditional Filipino custom of reading the “Pasyon”. We also have prayers at our parish with Veneration of the Cross. • We unite ourselves to our Savior, and think about how Jesus has put an end to the reign of sin and evil on earth by His Passion and Death on the cross. • We think about dying to our SELVES. - SELF DENIALWednesday, March 6, 13
  9. 9. What Catholics Do Holy Saturday (March 30, 2013) • The final day of Lent; Christians remember the passion and death of Jesus and prepare for His resurrection. • No Mass on Holy Saturday - Easter Vigil Mass is technically part of Easter Sunday. • Holy Saturday (night) is called Easter Vigil; marked by a dramatic Easter vigil liturgy which has 4 parts:Wednesday, March 6, 13
  10. 10. a. Service of Light - Holy Water fonts are drained, lights are out, the tabernacle is empty. Service begins outside the church. A Paschal Candle is lit. b. Liturgy of the Word - several Old Testament readings and 2 New Testament readings are read to help us reflect on God’s wonderful works for His people. c. Liturgy of Baptism - Blessing of Water and renewal of baptismal promises. d. Liturgy of the Eucharist - Special prayers are inserted in the Eucharistic Prayer.Wednesday, March 6, 13
  11. 11. What Catholics Do Easter Sunday (March 31, 2013) • The most important feast for Catholics. Christmas comes second and is celebrated in preparation for Easter. • It is also the oldest feast of the Christian Church, as old as Christianity, connecting the Old and New Testaments. • The Coming of the Kingdom - The fulfillment of God’s promise of a Messiah, a Savior. • We remember the Resurrection of Christ, the fulfullment and basis for our faith. St. Paul wrote that, unless Christ rose from the dead, our faith is in vain (1 Corinthians 15:17).Wednesday, March 6, 13
  12. 12. • New Life in Christ - People who are converting to Catholicism traditionally are baptized at the Easter Vigil service. They have usually undergone a long process of study and preparation known as the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Their baptism is likened to Christs own Death and Resurrection, as they die to sin and rise to new life in the Kingdom of God. • Holy Communion - This reception of the Eucharist is a visible sign of our faith and our participation in the Kingdom of God.Wednesday, March 6, 13
  13. 13. LENT: A Season of Repentance • Ash Wednesday: When the priest puts the ash on our forehead making the sign of the cross, he says “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Mk 1:15) • What does it mean TO REPENT? What is REPENTANCE? • When people are asked to “repent”, how do we usually react? Is it easy to repent?Wednesday, March 6, 13
  14. 14. To Repent means... • Repentance is seen as a threat to our way of life-- the life that we are used to. It is something hard to do. being sorry remorse conversion renewalcompunction transformation sadness over sinWednesday, March 6, 13
  15. 15. Jesus forgives our sins.Wednesday, March 6, 13
  16. 16. Jesus Forgave the Paralytic • Jesus forgave and healed the paralytic: “They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them... they made an opening in the roof above Jesus ... and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mk 2:1-12 •Wednesday, March 6, 13
  17. 17. Jesus Teaches Us to Forgive • Jesus preached “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).Wednesday, March 6, 13
  18. 18. Jesus Forgave Mary of Magdala • Remember the story of how Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume. Jesus said “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little. Then He said to her, "Your sins have been forgiven." Luke 7:47Wednesday, March 6, 13
  19. 19. Parable of the Unmerciful Servant • Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. When Peter asked Jesus how many times we are to forgive, Jesus told them the parable of the who after having been forgiven by the Master his debt, turned on another servant who owed him money and sent him to prison. The Master said to the unmerciful servant ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. • 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”Wednesday, March 6, 13
  20. 20. Father, Forgive Them... • At Jesus crucifixion, He said “When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals— one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ Lk 23:34Wednesday, March 6, 13
  21. 21. The Five Sundays of Lent: Journey Into Repentance and ForgivenessWednesday, March 6, 13
  22. 22. 1st Sunday of Lent: Temptation • Gospel: Luke 4:1-13 Jesus was led by the Spirit through the wilderness and was tempted there. • TEMPTATION, Our human experience. We always have this battle between good and evil in ourselves. Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to the dessert where He was tempted by the devil. • 1st Temptation: Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights and was very hungry. The devil said “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread." -- This was a temptation to PRIDE and to PHYSICAL COMFORT. • Jesus answered: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” -- What’s more important than the physical is the spiritual. (Our bodies die but our spirit is eternal. We are nourished by the Word of God.)Wednesday, March 6, 13
  23. 23. • 2nd Temptation: The devil took Jesus to a high place and said "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." - Temptation to test God, daring God to do something. This shows lack of obedience and respect to God. We cannot dictate on God to do we want Him to do for us. (Remember the thief that was crucified with Jesus?) • Jesus answered: "It is also written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test." - shows Jesus obedience, reverence and submissiveness to the Father. TO SIN IS TO DISOBEY GOD! • 3rd Temptation: Again the devil took Jesus to a high mountain overlooking the great city and said "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." - A LIE! TEMPTATIONS ARE LIES or deceptions that the devil tells us to make us fall into sin. The devil is the father of all liars. This is also a temptation to GREED. • Jesus answered: "Away from me, satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only."Wednesday, March 6, 13
  24. 24. 2nd Sunday of Lent: Transfiguration • Gospel: Luke 9:28-36 The TRANSFIGURATION of Jesus. Jesus took Peter, James and John to pray on a mountain and there His apostles witnessed His face and clothing changed, and the apperance of Moses and Elijah. • Jesus showed His disciples His true nature as the Son of God to strengthen them for the coming passion and death of Jesus on the cross. The transfiguration gives hope.Wednesday, March 6, 13
  25. 25. • If the 1st Sunday of Lent talked about the constant battle between good and evil within ourselves (our human experience), the 2nd Sunday of Lent talks about the journey of man towards God. It is the story of our salvation. • OT Journey to God - Israelites were saved from slavery to Egypt by God. The Exodus talks about their journey with God and towards God. • NT Journey to God - Jesus on the road to Calvary where He was to be crucified - story of our salvation; Jesus dying on the cross to save us from our sins. • My Journey to God - Jesus said "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 • How are we transfigured? As we journey towards God, God transforms us, changes us, makes us more like Jesus. Remember that Jesus said “Be holy as your Father in heaven is holy.”Wednesday, March 6, 13
  26. 26. 3rd Sunday of Lent: Repent or Perish • Gospel: Luke 13: 1-9 Jesus said: Repent or Perish (To perish means to die) • Jesus told the Parable of the Fig Tree: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” - Who is the gardener?Wednesday, March 6, 13
  27. 27. • God is always portrayed as a merciful God. But He is also a just God. Jesus told many parables to stress the importance of turning away from sin and becoming obedient to the laws of God. Parable of the Sheep and the Goats - ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’....   “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’Wednesday, March 6, 13
  28. 28. Parable of the10 Virgins - Ten virgins took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. When the bridegroom came, the 5 wise virgins were allowed to go in with him to the banquet but the foolish virgins were left out. What does this mean? Don’t get caught unprepared. We do not know the hour when our life ends and we have to meet our Creator.Wednesday, March 6, 13
  29. 29. 4th Sunday of Lent: God Forgives • Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 Highlights the FORGIVENESS OF GOD which is greater than any sin. We only need to come back to our Lord, confess our sin and stop committing these sins. • Parable of the Prodigal Son tells the story of a Father’s forgiveness for his son who demanded his inheritance and wasted it away. Verse 18 “I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ The Father welcomed him back with open arms and had a party for his return. The other son, the good brother, got angry but the Father said “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”Wednesday, March 6, 13
  30. 30. •  Parable of the Lost Sheep. Luke 15:4-7 More rejoicing in heaven over a sinner who repents? “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety- nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine Each of us is precious to God. righteous persons who do not need to repent.”Wednesday, March 6, 13
  31. 31. 5th Sunday of Lent: Forgiving Others •  Gospel: John 8:1-11 The Adulterous Woman. Jesus taught by example the value of forgiving others. • Jesus said to the mad crowd “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.” - SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS • Then Jesus asked the woman “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and Go and sin no more. leave your life of sin.”Wednesday, March 6, 13
  32. 32. • Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus’ feet with perfumed oil which was expensive. What does this tell about Mary Magdalene? - COMPUNCTION OF THE HEART • Luke 7:47 "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."Wednesday, March 6, 13
  33. 33. WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DISOBEDIENT, PROUD, VAIN, ENVIOUS, LUSTFUL, GREEDY, INDIFFERENT, SELFISH Recognizing our sinfulness - Sins of Commission - disobedience to the commandments of God in the OT and to the teachings of Jesus. - Sins of Omission - The good we did not do (You did not feed me, clothe me, visit me in prison, etc.)Wednesday, March 6, 13
  34. 34. Realizing Our faithlessness, disobedience, selfishness and Encountering God’s love and forgiveness (which we do not deserve) Leads to CONVERSIONWednesday, March 6, 13
  35. 35. Pope Benedict XVI said... "Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” - Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (1) 2006Wednesday, March 6, 13