Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Archbishop Jose Cabantan, D.D. Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of our observance of Lent.

Once again the Church invites us to a sincere examination of our life, our works in the light of Faith.

Jesus spent forty days and forty nights in the desert in prayer and fasting before he embarked on a mission. Let this season of Lent be moments of profound reflection and renewal of our interior life too as we continue the mission God has entrusted to us.

The pandemic is still with us calling us to intensify more our prayers and remain steadfast with our faith in God. Let us continually observe the health protocols in our liturgical celebrations, especially during Holy Week.

Lent indeed is a season of grace, a season of joy. It is a precious gift of God, a journey of the Lord’s Easter. It is an intense time full of meaning in the journey of the Church.

Our life’s journey is also a pilgrimage sharing the passion, death and resurrection of Christ. This coming Easter Sunday we rejoice with the Risen Lord as we commemorate the first Mass in the country 500 years ago.

Renewal is God’s precious gift

This pilgrimage entails a renewal of our lives, a deepening of our commitment more and more to the God of History as we celebrate 500 Years of Christian faith full of gratitude and love.

Renewal is intimately woven in our jubilee celebration. All of us in the archdiocese should humbly beg God the grace of conversion by opening our hearts to Him. Renewal is truly a gift from God.

The call to live out our baptismal vows

The CBCP’s Lenten message calls us to live out our baptismal vows. They call us to witness to God’s charity, to live out and spread God’s faithful love.

Alay-Kapwa or serving our neighbors is a fruit of a genuine concern and love of God and neighbor. It can be done by the one who has been deeply touched by God’s loving and compassionate heart.

Again this needs a constant conversion to the God of love to fulfill this. Let us also continue praying for one another especially those who suffer the most due to this pandemic. Let us not lose hope amidst all these trials as we journey towards the resurrection.

Finally, our world, our archdiocese needs God’s forgiveness, realizing that desecration of one’s dignity and degradation of our environment continues to happen.

Let us beg for God’s mercy and Love that He will continually purify our hearts from self-serving desires.

Let us pray that our hearts will be set free from all that enslave us; resentments, anger, hatred, and all that dehumanizes us.

We pray that by opening ourselves to God and neighbor will bear fruit in solidarity, harmony and peace.

 May the God of Life, Love and Peace be always our refuge and strength in our journey with the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph’s intercession.


Click here for the Bisaya message of Bishop Cabantan.

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