Bishop's Message
Bishop’s Message

My Dear Fathers, Sisters and Brothers
Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Soon we will step into the holy season of Lent. It is a season of preparation for the celebration of the Paschal Mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a fitting time for us consecrated persons and ordained ministers to deepen our faith, to prepare our hearts for an Easter renewal and to help our faithful to undergo the same.
We are weak human beings and we do need forty days of rigorous Lenten observance to experience the death and resurrection of Jesus in our lives. In the spirit of the people of Nineveh who at the preaching of Jonah repented and fasted for forty days (Jonah 3:4), the prophet Elijah who fasted and prayed on Mount Horeb for forty days (I King 19:8), Yahweh’s servant Moses who fasted forty days and forty nights on Mount Sinai (Ex 34:28) and finally our Lord himself who fasted and prayed in the desert for forty days and forty nights, let us enter into this Lenten season.
While practicing fasting, prayer, almsgiving we will do well to keep in mind Gandhiji’s words: “Before the throne of Almighty, man will be judged not by his acts but by his intentions. For God alone reads our hearts.”
Thomas of Celano gives us a good piece of advice “We should not flatter ourselves and boast about doing what any sinner can do. A sinner can fast, pray, weep, mortify the flesh, but this a sinner cannot do: remain faithful to the Lord.”
Whatever we do, we do out of love for the Lord and for our brothers and sisters. “If I give away all my possessions and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (I Cor 13:3). Our Lenten observance is an attempt to establish the law of love and the rule of the Holy Spirit in our lives, not merely for forty days but for ever.
Pope Francis’ Lenten Message for this year could be summarized in three words: (1) Remembrance; (2) Repentance; and (3) Renewal.
1. Remembrance: Remembrance of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus and contemplation of the Crucified Savior are powerful means for renewal of our lives. Quoting from the Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit he tells us: “Keep your eyes fixed on the outstretched arms of Christ crucified, let yourself be saved over and over again. And when you go to confess your sins, believe firmly in his mercy which frees you of your guilt. Contemplate his blood poured out with such great love, and let yourself be cleansed by it. In this way, you can be reborn ever anew” (No. 123).
2. Repentance: The Damascus incident was a watershed in the life of St. Paul. It was there that he experienced in a powerful and tangible way God’s love for him mediated through Jesus. Writing to the Galatians he would say, “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). His prayer and life were nothing but a response to that love”.
3. Renewal: When we undergo profound renewal we receive Christ’s vision and mission. We see everything through his eyes and respond with his hearts. His spirit urges us to continue his mission and gives us the power to undertake it. We cannot be mute spectators to what is happening in our neighbourhood and in the world: wars, attacks on life, “environmental disasters, the unequal distribution of earth’s goods, human trafficking in all its forms, and the unbridled thirst for profit, which is a form of idolatry”.
Love and compassion expressed through concrete acts are powerful means of participating in the building of a better world.
I am sending as usual the Diocesan Lenten Regulations as an appendix to this circular. Please encourage all to follow the Lenten rules and regulations.
I wish each of you a Holy and fruitful Lenten Season.

Most Rev. Raphy Manjaly
Bishop of Allahabad

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  • Give me back the joy of your salvation, sustain in me a generous spirit.
  • Give me back the joy of your salvation, sustain in me a generous spirit.