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Christians urged to shun distractions during Lent

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ASH Wednesday, according to Christian belief is officially known as the day of ashes. A day of repentance, when Christians confess their sions and profess their devotion to God. During a mass, a priest places the ashes on a worshipper’s forehead in the shape of a cross.

The ceremony, which also can be performed by a minister or pastor according to religious experts, is meant to show that a person belongs to Jesus Christ. It also represents a person’s grief and mourning for their sins; the sins that Christians believe Jesus Christ gave his life for when he died on the cross.

According to the Parish Priest, Saint Theresa catholic Church, Mbaukwu, Rev. Fr Damian Kenechukwu expl Ash Wednesday is significant because it marks the start of the Lenten period which lead to Easter celebration. He informed that Ash Wednesday usually fall on a different day each year which normally depend on the date of Easter.  “it could come early February or March and it is very important in Christian calendar because it marks the beginning of lent”

He further noted that lenten season is a time when many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial and spiritual discipline. This period, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ; his suffering, his sacrifices, his life, death, burial and resurrection”.

Reverend Kenechukwu revealed that 40 days signifies great number in the Jewish Christian scripture which involved “Jesus 40 days fasted in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry; Moses fasting for 40 days before receiving the ten commandments on Mount Sinai; the Israelites spent 40 days in the wilderness before reaching the land promised to them by God as well as the flood which destroyed the earth with the period of 40 days of rain.”

“The Christian churches that observe lent use it as a time for prayer and penance. only a small number of people today fast for the whole of lent, although some maintain the practice on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. It is more common these days for believers to surrender a particular vice such as parties, festivities and favourite foods. Whatever the sacrifice, it is a reflection of Jesus deprivation in the wilderness and self-discipline.

The clergy used the opportunity to urge Christian faithful to shot themselves from external distraction and inculcate the attitude of showing love and care to one another particularly in this lenten period. Christians should dedicate, unite, and deny themselves of earthly things in this period of lenten season.

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