Lenten Message 2022 – Bishop Colli
In his message for Lent 2022, Pope Francis invites all the faithful to sow seeds of goodness, so that we might reap a harvest of salvation for ourselves and others.
Pope Francis based his Lenten message on a passage from St Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, “Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all” (6:9-10).
After more than two years of this pandemic, I am sure many have grown tired of many things in many ways. We all know the struggle we are having to try and normalize our lives again as we cope with Covid and Omicron and the entire pandemic cycle. The Holy Father asks us, even in this time and especially during the season of Lent, to not grow tired and give up in frustration or anger, but to continue with our spirit and the strength of the Holy Spirit to do our good works, to pray and deepen our relationship with Jesus, and to remember our need for mercy and forgiveness for our hearts.
Pope Francis notes: “Bitter disappointment at shattered dreams, deep concern for the challenges ahead and discouragement at the poverty of our resources, can make us tempted to seek refuge in self-centredness and indifference to the suffering of others. Indeed, even our best resources have their limitations. But the Lenten season calls us to place our faith and hope in the Lord, since only if we ﬁx our gaze on the Risen Christ will we be able to respond to the Apostle’s appeal, “Let us never grow tired of doing good” (Gal 6:9).
Let us never grow tired of prayer. It is essential for our spiritual growth and our prayer helps to support one another on our road to salvation. Let us never grow tired of uprooting evil from our lives. May the corporal fasting to which Lent calls us, fortify our spirit for the battle against sin. Let us not grow tired of asking for forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance, knowing that God never tires of forgiving and let us pray for grace to resist temptations that draw us apart instead of bringing us together. Let us never grow tired of doing good in active charity towards our neighbours. During this Lent, may we practise almsgiving by giving joyfully from the goodness we share. We know that even in times of crisis – we still need to reach out to our struggling sisters and brothers both here and abroad, to show our support for them. We can do this most readily through our generosity to Development and Peace.
Pope Francis says: “Each year during Lent we are reminded that goodness, together with love, justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they have to be realized each and every day. Let us ask God to give us the patient perseverance like that of the farmer, who plants his crop carefully, in order to receive an abundant harvest”. May we too persevere in our patience in doing good, one step at a time, and may this Lent bring us an abundant harvest of God’s grace and mercy.
Bishop Fred J. Colli