Repent and believe in the Gospel
We have just entered Lent by the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” pronounced at each one of us individually. It happened at the very moment when ash was put on our forehead. In this way we have been invited to tear our hearts and to surrender them to Christ; we are invited to allow Him to touch our weaknesses and to focus on Him.
Lent is then both: a discomforting and healing exercise. The beauty of Lent is expressed in the deep discovery of the Love of God, thus preparing us to celebrate the Passion, the Death and the Resurrection of Christ. This calls us to participate in the Stations of the Cross, make a good examination of conscience with true contrition, a good confession and the decision to improve our life’s standards.
In the words “Repent and believe”, we are saying that it is important to hear our very name being called by Jesus in the depth of our hearts. With complete confidence we shall then unravel our sinfulness to God and start the penance, practising spiritual sacrifices, more intense fasting time and acts of charity. It is important to start from bringing our misery to God to asking Him and our neighbours for forgiveness before we approach the Altar.
Because of the dynamic which are the words “Repent and believe”, in Lent we hear a lot about the dust and mud of our sins and guilt, as well as the truth that we belong to God. We hear that God desires our return to Him. We shall return to God as sinners but above all as His beloved children.
In this way, we, all of us, will tune our hearts with the Church; we shall start Lent as a liberating journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, from the slavery of sin to the dignity and beauty of God’s children; from the Biblical foreign countries to the Fatherland (the journey of the Prodigal Son).