My Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Some of us may be disappointed that we celebrate the Lenten and Easter seasons in Cyprus so late this year. But I would say that we are a visible sign in our world today that Christians can live together and pray together, accepting each other, in spite of differences in their traditions. One thing is certain: it is not that important if we celebrate Easter all together or at various dates.
What is the real essence of Lent and Easter? It is our Christian and spiritual predisposition and human attitude during this period of forty days when the Church invites us to practice works of mercy towards the poor and the oppressed. This Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy invites us even more strongly to practice spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
In his Lenten message Pope Francis encourages us with these words: “For all of us, then, the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year is a favourable time to overcome our existential alienation by listening to God’s word and by practising the works of mercy. In the corporal works of mercy we touch the flesh of Christ in our brothers and sisters who need to be fed, clothed, sheltered, visited; in the spiritual works of mercy – counsel, instruction, forgiveness, admonishment and prayer – we touch more directly our own sinfulness. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy must never be separated. By touching the flesh of the crucified Jesus in the suffering, sinners can receive the gift of realising that they too are poor and in need”.
Spiritual poverty and indifference are more pitiable than material poverty. Let us see in our brothers and sisters the image of our Lord. May we all have a very blessed and fruitful Lenten time which will lead us towards the victory over sin and over our human weaknesses.
Fr. Zacheusz M. Dulniok, ofm