Sunday, 21 March 2021 : Fifth Sunday of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

John 12 : 20-33

At that time, there were some Greeks who had come up to Jerusalem to worship during the feast. They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went to Andrew, and the two of them told Jesus.

Then Jesus said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Those who love their life destroy it, and those who despise their life in this world save it even to everlasting life.”

“Whoever wants to serve Me, let him follow Me; and wherever I am, there shall My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him. Now, My soul is in distress. Shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour?’ But, to face all this, I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Your Name!”

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” People standing there heard something and said it was thunder; but others said, “An Angel was speaking to Him.” Then Jesus declared, “This voice did not come for My sake, but for yours. Now sentence is being passed on this world; now the prince of this world is to be cast down. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all people to Myself.”

With these words Jesus referred to the kind of death He was to die.

Alternative reading (Reading from Year A)

John 11 : 1-45

At that time, there was a sick man named Lazarus who was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This is the same Mary, who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped His feet with her hair. Her brother Lazarus was sick.

So the sisters sent this message to Jesus, “Lord, the one You love is sick.” On hearing this, Jesus said, “This illness will not end in death; rather it is for God’s glory, and the Son of God will be glorified through it.”

It is a fact that Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus; yet, after He heard of the illness of Lazarus, He stayed two days longer in the place where He was. Only then did He say to His disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.” They replied, “Master, recently the Jews wanted to stone You. Are You going there again?”

Jesus said to them, “Are not twelve working hours needed to complete a day? Those who walk in the daytime shall not stumble, for they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, for there is no light in them.” After that Jesus said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going to wake him.”

The disciples replied, “Lord, a sick person who sleeps will recover.” But Jesus had referred to Lazarus’ death, while they thought that He had meant the repose of sleep. So Jesus said plainly, “Lazarus is dead; and for your sake I am glad I was not there, for now you may believe. But let us go there, where he is.” Then Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”

When Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. As Bethany is near Jerusalem, about two miles away, many Jews had come to Martha and Mary, after the death of their brother, to comfort them. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him, while Mary remained sitting in the house. And she said to Jesus, “If You had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You.” Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection, at the last day.” But Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, shall live. Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” Martha then answered, “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He Who is coming into the world.”

After that Martha went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying, “The Master is here and is calling for you.” As soon as Mary heard this, she rose and went to Him. Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met Him. The Jews, who were with her in the house consoling her, also came. When they saw her get up and go out, they followed her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep.

As for Mary, when she came to the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping, who had come with her, He was moved in the depths of His Spirit and troubled. Then He asked, “Where have you laid him?” They answered, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.

The Jews said, “See how He loved him!” But some of them said, “If He could open the eyes of the blind man, could He not have kept this man from dying?” Jesus was deeply moved again, and drew near to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across it. Jesus said, “Take the stone away.” Martha said to Him, “Lord, by now he will smell, for this is the fourth day.” Jesus replied, “Have I not told you that, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone.

Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You for You have heard Me. I knew that You hear Me always; but My prayer was for the sake of these people, that they may believe that You sent Me.” When Jesus had said this, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Untie him, and let him go.” Many of the Jews who had come with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw what He did.

Alternative reading (shorter version of Reading from Year A)

John 11 : 3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45

So the sisters sent this message to Jesus, “Lord, the one You love is sick.” On hearing this, Jesus said, “This illness will not end in death; rather it is for God’s glory, and the Son of God will be glorified through it.”

It is a fact that Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus; yet, after He heard of the illness of Lazarus, He stayed two days longer in the place where He was. Only then did He say to His disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.”

When Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him, while Mary remained sitting in the house. And she said to Jesus, “If You had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You.” Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection, at the last day.” But Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, shall live. Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” Martha then answered, “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He Who is coming into the world.”

Jesus was moved in the depths of His Spirit and troubled. Then He asked, “Where have you laid him?” They answered, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.

The Jews said, “See how He loved him!” But some of them said, “If He could open the eyes of the blind man, could He not have kept this man from dying?” Jesus was deeply moved again, and drew near to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across it. Jesus said, “Take the stone away.” Martha said to Him, “Lord, by now he will smell, for this is the fourth day.” Jesus replied, “Have I not told you that, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone.

Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You for You have heard Me. I knew that You hear Me always; but My prayer was for the sake of these people, that they may believe that You sent Me.” When Jesus had said this, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Untie him, and let him go.” Many of the Jews who had come with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw what He did.

Sunday, 21 March 2021 : Fifth Sunday of Lent (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Hebrews 5 : 7-9

Christ, in the days of His mortal life, offered His sacrifice with tears and cries. He prayed to Him, Who could save Him from death, and He was heard, because of His humble submission. Although He was Son, He learnt, through suffering, what obedience was, and, once made perfect, He became the Source of eternal salvation, for those who obey Him.

Alternative reading (Reading from Year A)

Romans 8 : 8-11

So, those walking according to the flesh cannot please God. Yet your existence is not in the flesh, but in the spirit, because the Spirit of God is within you. If you did not have the Spirit of Christ, you would not belong to Him.

But Christ is within you; though the body is branded by death as a consequence of sin, the spirit is life and holiness. And if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is within you, He Who raised Jesus Christ from among the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies. Yes, He will do it through His Spirit Who dwells within you.

Sunday, 21 March 2021 : Fifth Sunday of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 50 : 3-4, 12-13, 14-15

Have mercy on me, o God, in Your love. In Your great compassion blot out my sin. Wash me thoroughly of my guilt; cleanse me of evil.

Create in me, o God, a pure heart; give me a new and steadfast spirit. Do not cast me out of Your presence nor take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Give me again, the joy of Your salvation; and sustain me, with a willing spirit. Then I will show wrongdoers Your ways and sinners will return to You.

Alternative Psalm (Psalm from Year A)

Psalm 129 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8

Out of the depths I cry to You, o Lord, o Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears pay attention to the voice of my supplication.

If You should mark our evil, o Lord, who could stand? But with You is forgiveness.

For that You are revered. I waited for the Lord, my soul waits, and I put my hope in His word. My soul expects the Lord more than watchmen the dawn.

O Israel, hope in the Lord, for with Him is unfailing love and with Him full deliverance. He will deliver Israel from all its sins.

Sunday, 21 March 2021 : Fifth Sunday of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Jeremiah 31 : 31-34

The time is coming – it is YHVH Who speaks – when I will forge a new Covenant with the people of Israel and the people of Judah. It will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. For they broke My Covenant although I was their Master, YHVH declares.

This is the Covenant I shall make with Israel after that time : I will put My Law within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God and they will be My people. And they will not have to teach each other, neighbour or brother, saying : ‘Know YHVH,’ because they will all know Me, from the greatest to the lowliest, for I will forgive their wrongdoing and no longer remember their sin.

Alternative reading (Reading from Year A)

Ezekiel 37 : 12-14

YHVH said to Ezekiel, “So prophesy! Say to them : This is what YHVH says : I am going to open your tombs, My people, and lead you back to the land of Israel. You will know that I am YHVH, o My people! When I open your graves and bring you out of your graves.”

“When I put My Spirit in you and you live. I shall settle you in your land and you will know that I, YHVH, have done what I said I would do.”

(Usus Antiquior) Passion Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 21 March 2021 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Offertory

Psalm 118 : 17, 107

Confitebor Tibi, Domine, in toto corde meo : retribue servo Tuo : vivam, et custodiam sermones Tuos : vivifica me secundum verbum Tuum, Domine.

English translation

I will confess to You, o Lord, with my whole heart, render to Your servant. I shall live and keep Your words. Enliven me according to Your word, o Lord.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Haec munera, quaesumus Domine, et vincula nostrae pravitatis absolvant, et Tuae nobis misericordiae dona concilient. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

May these offerings, we pray to You, o Lord, both loosen the bonds of our sins, and win for us the gifts of Your mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Preface of the Holy Cross

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos Tibi semper et ubique gratias agere : Domine, Sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus : Qui salutem humani generis in ligno Crucis constituisti : ut, unde mors oriebatur, inde vita resurgeret : et, qui in ligno vincebat, in ligno quoque vinceretur : per Christum, Dominum nostrum.

Per quem majestatem Tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Caeli caelorumque Virtutes ac beata Seraphim socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces ut admitti jubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes :

English translation

It is truly meet and just, right and profitable for us, at all times, and in all places, to give thanks to You, o Holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God. Who had established the salvation of mankind in the wood of the cross, that from whence death came into the world, thence a new life might spring, and that he who by a tree overcome, by a tree might be overthrown. Through Christ our Lord.

Through Whom the Angels praise, the Dominations adore, the Powers, trembling with awe, worship Your majesty, which the heavens, and the forces of heaven, together with the Blessed Seraphim joyfully do magnify. And may You command that it be permitted to our lowliness to join with them in confessing You and unceasingly to repeat :

Communion

1 Corinthians 11 : 24, 25

Hoc corpus, quod pro vobis tradetur : hic calix novi Testamenti est in Meo sanguine, dicit Dominus : hoc facite, quotiescumque sumitis, in Meam commemorationem.

English translation

This is My Body, which shall be delivered for you. This is the chalice of the New Testament in My Blood, says the Lord. Do this, as often as you receive it, in commemoration of Me.

Post-Communion Prayer

Adesto nobis, Domine, Deus noster : et, quos Tuis mysteriis recreasti, perpetuis defende subsidiis. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Draw near to us, o Lord, our God, and with Your perpetual succour defend those whom You have refreshed with Your mysteries. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Passion Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 21 March 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

John 8 : 46-59

In illo tempore : Dicebat Jesus turbis Judaeorum : Quis ex vobis arguet me de peccato? Si veritatem dico vobis, quare non creditis mihi? Qui ex Deo est, verba Dei audit. Propterea vos non auditis, quia ex Deo non estis.

Responderunt ergo Judaei et dixerunt ei : Nonne bene dicimus nos, quia Samaritanus es tu, et daemonium habes? Respondit Jesus : Ego daemonium non habeo, sed honorifico Patrem Meum, et vos inhonorastis Me. Ego autem non quaero gloriam Meam : est, qui quaerat et judicet.

Amen, amen, dico vobis : si quis sermonem Meum servaverit, mortem non videbit in aeternum. Dixerunt ergo Judaei : Nunc cognovimus, quia daemonium habes. Abraham mortuus est et Prophetae; et Tu dicis : Si quis sermonem Meum servaverit, non gustabit mortem in aeternum. Numquid Tu major es patre nostro Abraham, qui mortuus est? Et Prophetae mortui sunt. Quem teipsum facis?

Respondit Jesus : Si Ego glorifico meipsum, gloria Mea nihil est : est Pater Meus, qui glorificat Me, quem vos dicitis, quia Deus vester est, et non cognovistis eum : Ego autem novi eum : et si dixero, quia non scio eum, ero similis vobis, mendax. Sed scio eum et sermonem ejus servo. Abraham pater vester exsultavit, ut videret diem meum : vidit, et gavisus est.

Dixerunt ergo Judaei ad Eum : Quinquaginta annos nondum habes, et Abraham vidisti? Dixit eis Jesus : Amen, amen, dico vobis, antequam Abraham fieret, Ego sum. Tulerunt ergo lapides, ut jacerent in Eum : Jesus autem abscondit se, et exivit de Templo.

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews, “Which of you shall convince Me of sin? If I say truth to you, why do you not believe Me? He Who is of God, hears the words of God. Therefore you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

The Jews therefore answered and said to Him, “Do we not say well, that You are a Samaritan, and had a devil?” Jesus answered, “I do not have a devil, but I honour My Father, and you have dishonoured Me. But I do not seek My own glory, there is one who seeks and judges.”

“Amen, Amen, I say to you, if any man keeps My word, he shall not see death forever.” The Jews therefore said, “Now we know that You have a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets, and You said, ‘If any man keeps My word, he shall not taste death forever. Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Whom do You make Yourself?”

Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father Who glorified Me, of Whom you say that He is your God. And you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I shall say that I do not know Him, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know Him, and do keep His word. Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see My day. He saw it, and was glad.”

The Jews therefore said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I AM.” They took up stones therefore to cast at Him, but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the Temple.

(Usus Antiquior) Passion Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 21 March 2021 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Gradual

Psalm 142 : 9, 10 and Psalm 17 : 48-49

Eripe me, Domine, de inimicis meis : doce me facere voluntatem Tuam.

Response : Liberator meus, Domine, de gentibus iracundis : ab insurgentibus in me exaltabis me : a viro iniquo eripies me.

English translation

Deliver me from my enemies, o Lord, teach me to do Your will.

Response : My Deliverer, o Lord, from the angry nations, You will lift me up above those who rise up against me, from the unjust man You will deliver me.

Tract

Psalm 128 : 1-4

Saepe expugnaverunt me a juventute mea.

Response : Dicat nunc Israel : saepe expugnaverunt me a juventute mea.

Response : Etenim non potuerunt mihi : supra dorsum meum fabricaverunt peccatores.

Response : Prolongaverunt iniquitates suas : Dominus justus concidit cervices peccatorum.

English translation

Often have they fought against me from my youth.

Response : Let Israel now say, often have they fought against me from my youth.

Response : But they could not prevail over me, the wicked have wrought upon my back.

Response : They have lengthened their iniquities, the Lord Who is just will cut the neck of sinners.

(Usus Antiquior) Passion Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 21 March 2021 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Hebraeos – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews

Hebrews 9 : 11-15

Fratres : Christus assistens Pontifex futurorum bonorum, per amplius et perfectius tabernaculum non manufactum, id est, non hujus creationis : neque per sanguinem hircorum aut vitulorum, sed per proprium sanguinem introivit semel in Sancta, aeterna redemptione inventa.

Si enim sanguis hircorum et taurorum, et cinis vitulae aspersus, inquinatos sanctificat ad emundationem carnis : quanto magis sanguis Christi, qui per Spiritum Sanctum semetipsum obtulit immaculatam Deo, emundabit conscientiam nostram ab operibus mortuis, ad serviendum Deo viventi?

Et ideo novi Testamenti mediator est : ut, morte intercedente, in redemptionem earum, praevaricationum, quae erant sub priori Testamento, repromissionem accipiant, qui vocati sunt aeternae hereditatis, in Christo Jesu, Domino nostro.

English translation

Brethren, Christ having come, a High Priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by His own Blood, entered once into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption.

For if the blood of goats and of oxen, and the ashes of an heifer being sprinkled sanctify such as are defiled, to the cleansing of the flesh, how much more shall the Blood of Christ, Who, through the Holy Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse our conscience from dead works, to serve the Living God?

And therefore He is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of His death, for the redemption of those transgressions which were under the former testament, they who are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Usus Antiquior) Passion Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 21 March 2021 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Introit

Psalm 42 : 1-2 and 3

Judica me, Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta : ab homine iniquo et doloso eripe me : quia Tu es Deus meus et fortitudo mea.

Emitte lucem Tuam et veritatem Tuam : ipsa me deduxerunt et adduxerunt in montem sanctum Tuum et in tabernacula Tua.

Response : Judica me, Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta : ab homine iniquo et doloso eripe me : quia Tu es Deus meus et fortitudo mea.

English translation

Judge me, o God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy. Deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man. For You are my God and my Strength.

Send forth Your light and Your truth, they have conducted me, and brought me unto Your holy hill, and into Your tabernacles.

Response : Judge me, o God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy. Deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man. For You are my God and my Strength.

Collect

Quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, familiam Tuam propitius respice : ut, Te largiente, regatur in corpore : et, Te servante, custodiantur in mente. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Look with favour upon Your household, we beseech You, o Almighty God, that, by Your gift, it may be governed in body and, by Your preservation, may be guarded in Spirit. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Saturday, 20 March 2021 : 4th Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us heard of the rejection of God’s message and truth by those to whom God had sent His servants and messengers, as shown in our first reading with the lamentation of the prophet Jeremiah against those who plotted against Him, and then in our Gospel passage today, when the Pharisees rejected the Lord Jesus and many of them refused to believe in Him and in the message that He has brought into this world.

In our first reading today, we heard of the problems faced by the prophet Jeremiah and how he lamented that many were plotting against him simply because he spoke the words of the Lord, and brought His revelation and truth to the people who refused to believe in him and in the Lord. They branded him as doomsayer, fear-monger, prophet of doom and even as a traitor against the nation and king, for speaking up and revealing how the kingdom of Judah would be destroyed because of the sins of its people and their refusal to repent.

The prophet Jeremiah had spent a lot of time and effort trying to call on the people to return to the Lord, but they remained firm in their stubbornness and refusal to repent, remaining in their sinful ways and rebellious attitudes. He had to go up against many false prophets and messengers who claimed to speak the words and the will of God, but who in reality were only interested in their own benefits and selfish desires by flattering the king and the nobles. They spoke not of God’s truth but the lies of the devil.

Why did the people of Judah harden their hearts as such against the efforts of the prophet Jeremiah, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is because of their ego and pride, thinking that they could not have done wrong or erred in their choice of actions in life. And their worldly desires and succumbing to temptations led them to refuse to believe in the Lord, as they continued on living their lives following their own path rather than following the Lord and His path.

This same attitude was also shown by the Pharisees in our Gospel passage today. They gathered together because of the need to discuss about the Lord Jesus and the works He had done among the Jewish people in Judea and Galilee. Many among the Pharisees opposed the Lord and refused to believe in His message of truth, while a small minority of the Pharisees actually believed in the Lord, for example Nicodemus and some others.

They refused to believe because they thought that the Lord was a false Messiah and a fraud, as they thought that He had originated from the region of Galilee which was back then at the fringe of the Jewish society and community. Of course they did not know that the Lord was actually born in Bethlehem, the city of David and the place where the Messiah was prophesied to be born in. Regardless, as they were already against the Lord and formed opinion against Him, no matter where He hailed from, they would likely still have opposed Him.

The Lord had shown His might and wondrous miracles before many of those same Pharisees, and yet many of them still refused to believe in Him, doubted Him and questioned His authority and the legitimacy of His actions. He has patiently reached out to them, but they still refused to believe just like how their ancestors refused to believe in Jeremiah, accusing the Lord of heresy and other false accusations just as the enemies of Jeremiah had also accused him earlier on.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, how is this important for us all? It is a kind reminder from the Lord through His Church during this very important season of Lent that we must not allow ourselves be controlled by our ego and desires, by the temptations of worldly allures and pride, and all other things that often distracted us in our journey towards the Lord and His salvation. We are all called to turn once again towards the Lord and to humble ourselves before Him, that we may find forgiveness and grace from Him.

It is our pride and ego that often prevented us from finding the salvation in God, because we are too proud to accept the fact that we may be mistaken or at fault, and the desires we have in life may be the serious stumbling blocks that kept us all from truly being able to follow the Lord wholeheartedly and with genuine faith. That is why we are reminded yet again of just how each and every one of us are sinners, all in need of healing and forgiveness from God.

This Lent is the perfect time and opportunity for us to turn towards the Lord once again and be reconciled with Him. Let us therefore make good use of the time and opportunity, and do whatever we can, to the best of our abilities, to be ever closer to God and to attune ourselves to Him and His ways, and do our best to glorify Him by our way of life and by our dedication through faith. May God bless us all, and may He guide us through our Lenten observance, that we may find true joy in Him at the end of our struggles and journey. Amen.