Our synodal journey of Lent began with two important events in our Parish - Spiritual and Outreach. An early Parish Penitential service, a Spiritual Lenten Retreat and a Day Camp for Catechism students, as well as other spiritual formations, were prepared to enrich the Lenten experience of all Parishioners and students.
The outreach was coincidental, as it was in aid of the flood victims of Kg Orang Asli. The village was affected quite badly, with waters rising to the rooftops of many homes. Luckily, with the help of volunteer-Parishioners, we managed to collect and distribute all the necessary items - including some financial aid – within a short period of time. No doubt, we truly entered the season of Lent with the spirit of synodality – journeying together, guided by the Holy Spirit, to experience the grace for individual conversion and community renewal.
We have completed two-thirds of Lent and have only one week left before entering Holy Week. Thus far, Lent has been remarkable for us in many ways, particularly in our spiritual growth and faith. As Catholics, we somehow have a high regard for this holy season because it spiritually disciplines and trains our inner selves.
Any athlete will tell you that one needs endurance training to be fit, before competing in a race. Athletes make many sacrifices - cutting back leisure hours, changing eating habits and working hard day-in and day-out - to get themselves ready for a race. Hence we too, as spiritual athletes, need to make sacrifices to realise our goals and see gradual improvements in our behaviour and lifestyle. We must continue to put effort in refraining from habitual sins and keep observing the discipline of Lent to win the race against evil.
During this holy season, we have to continue maintaining our spiritual health by always seeking the Lord Jesus to “create for me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalms 51: 10) as we encounter challenges - internally and externally. It is important that we endure and persevere throughout life, as that will eventually lead us to victory.
For the past few weeks, many of us have attended formations, spiritual retreats, and other charity outreaches. We hope that at the end of this season of Lent, we become people of renewed faith in Christ. In the coming weeks, let us pray hard for ourselves - not to harden our hearts, but to continue listening to the Word of God, and be sensitive to the needs of others - which will add strides for conversion and set our paths to holiness.
Let us remember these words of St James, “Submit ourselves to God, resist the devil, and he will run away from you. The nearer you go to God, the nearer God will come to you. Clean your hands, and purify your hearts, you waverers. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4: 7-8, 10).