Lent, like all Christian life, “Is already fully placed under the light of the resurrection”. It is with this conviction of a positive outcome that Pope Francis proposes to approach the forty days preceding the feast of Easter, in his message for Lent 2021, published on Friday February 12 by the Holy See.
For the Pope, this tone is a decided choice when, he admits, the world is plunged into a “Context of concern”, “Where everything appears fragile and uncertain”. “Talking about hope may seem provocative” in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, even recognizes François. But it is nonetheless a duty for Christians, because they know that“To hope is to draw the forgiveness of the Father”. So they can “To believe that history is not closed on our errors, our violence, our injustices and on sin” and become in turn “Actor of forgiveness”.
The “overload of information, true or false”
The instruments of Lent – fasting, prayer and charity – are the “Conditions” and the “Expressions” of this conversion to hope, still teaches the relatively short message of Pope Francis. Fasting is so “The experience of consensual poverty” for “Free our existence from everything that encumbers it”. To start with “This overflow of information, true or false, and consumer products”. It is then possible to “Focus attention on the other by identifying him with oneself”.
→ INVESTIGATION. Lent, the return of the fast
Charity for its part, assures the Pope, “Gives meaning to our life”. And right now, showing charity is “Take care of those who find themselves in conditions of suffering, loneliness or anguish because of the Covid-19 pandemic”. This attitude is a “Message of confidence”, assuring the other of the love of God. That is why it is also necessary to “To withdraw to pray” because it allows “To join, in secret, the Father of all tenderness”.
The Covid-19, “a time of Passion and death”
For Father Bruno-Marie Duffé, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, the Pope’s message is a call to “A new confidence in God and in the future” despite “Worry, doubt and sometimes even despair” caused by the pandemic, which is even a “A time of Passion and death” for some people. Marked by “Hope offered to all living” of a “New life”, he continued at a press conference at the Vatican, Christians must therefore take advantage of Lent to “To comfort, console, encourage and offer care and forgiveness”.
This year, Ash Wednesday, marking the start of Lent, will take place on February 17th. Palm Sunday will be March 28, while Easter Sunday will be April 4.