“To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1). All too soon, the season of Lent is here again with us. Haven went through the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and the first part of the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year of the Church, we then enter into the Lenten season. The season of Lent happens to be one of the peak seasons within the Church’s liturgical year. It is observed as 40 days to the season of Easter, with Sundays excluded. Within this period, the whole Church embarks on a journey with three main activities, which are, Praying, Fasting, and Almsgiving. In instituting this season, the Church was influenced by Jesus’ 40 days of fasting and prayer in the wilderness, (cf. Matthew 4: 1-11).
Several factors might have necessitated Jesus’s decision of going through 40 days and nights of intensive prayer and fasting. However, most notable among them is the need for Him to commence His public ministry of salvation. The very nature of the world of Jesus at that time could also be of significant consideration. It was at that time that Satan appeared to be highly influential in the happenings of the world and had claimed several powers and authorities to himself. A vivid expression of this is his suggestion to Jesus to bow to him and the kingdoms of the world shall be granted to Him, (cf. Matthew 4: 8-9). It was then the time needed for Christ to come in, hence a period of fasting and prayers. That is how necessary Christ deemed it to have a period of Lent. How influential is it in our own era today?
Just as the demand for Jesus to commence His public ministry necessitated the need for Him to observe the season of lent, so too, the current state of the Church necessitates her members beginning to rise, hence this period of lent. The Church in Ghana finds herself in a situation where the findings of the regular national population census elicit a sense of fear because it reveals the reality that the church is declining in membership. The church’s decision to fight the LGBTQ+ agenda has gained her numerous opponents, with concomitant persecutions and attacks. There is then the utmost need for us to equip ourselves and stand firm as a church in the face of these unfavorable circumstances, hence the need for Lent.
There was that utmost demand for the intervention of Jesus at that time when people were facing difficultiesfar beyond their control. There were sicknesses all over, where could talk of the healing of the 10 lepers (cf. Lk 17: 11-19) and also the healing of a blind man in John 9. There were wars among nations, abuse of power over the less privileged. These are same happenings in our current world. The world is currently sick of the global Covid-19 pandemic, nations are waging war against each other, such as thecurrent war between Russia and Ukraine ), political leaders are exploiting the less privileged, others are pursuing the LGBTQ+ agenda and several others. This is how necessary it has become for us Christians, specifically Catholics to arise and save. Lent is then that great opportunity for the preparation for such a task, just as Jesus did in the wilderness for 40 days and night.
The distructive nature of the devil during the time of Jesus’ Lenten season in the wilderness is
It is then of tremendous value that, this year’s season of Lent is not one to be regarded as an ordinary Lenten season. There is that tendency of taking it as a seasonal occurrence, and for that reason, regard it as such. But this year’s Lenten season has a marked difference. It is the season now to equip ourselves to save God’s church from persecutions and attacks. This is the very moment to equip ourselves to reach out to others with the word of salvation. We do this by Praying, Fasting, and Giving Alms, the main activities of the current season. It is a season of journeying with Christ in the wilderness, thereby preparing ourselves to keep the Church moving in this challenging moment. We have no fitting and convincing reason to postpone the observance of this season to tomorrow. Now is the befitting time to experience it.
By: Kyere Vincent Yeboah