TOGETHER, WE CAN
As many know, the Catholic community will be completing 40 days of transformation through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. During this 40-day season, many people “give up” habits of their choosing, but we also like to encourage them to “take up” something for God. From going to Mass every day and connecting with God to spending more time in spiritual reading, we encourage our parishioners to take on something healthy.
The 40 days leading up to the Paschal Triduum is the pinnacle of the liturgical year in the Catholic Church. It begins on the evening of Holy Thursday and lasts until the evening of Easter Sunday. This season helps us celebrate and understand the value of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ—also known as the Paschal mystery. We go through the temptations of sin every day, but within these 40 days, our God is gracious and gives us a chance to see our lives in the eyes of faith so that we can be better people for ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbors.
During the Lenten season, those in good health are asked to fast or abstain from foods on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Ash Wednesday is really what kicks off the Lenten season. When the minister impulses the ashes on parishioners’ foreheads, he says, “repent and believe in the gospel,” to which our parishioners say “amen.” The Lenten calling to repent is really at the core and the heart of the season, where we get to reevaluate and change our lives for the better to become closer and united to God.
Toward the end of the Lenten Season, we have Holy Week in which we dedicate all our time and energy. Holy Week is meaningful because the preparation process is a true labor of love by our clergy and religious sisters, brothers, and sisters in Christ. They pour everything into making every Holy Week and the Lenten season meaningful. Today, we also celebrate Good Friday, which is the Friday of the Passion of the Lord.
We will resume the annual pilgrimage to Mount Tapochau on Good Friday this year. Many Catholic devotees walk to the top to remember the passion, death, and resurrection Christ.
While we all come out from the Lenten season giving back, I encourage our parishioners to collaborate with the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers and consider adopting your parish’s parking lot.
The partnership with the GECA is important for us to fulfill our ministries outside of the church and take part in the life of the community here on our island. It will also be a great platform for bringing the church into the community.
The churches are undertaking a synodal path for us to walk together as different sectors and members of society, regardless of our beliefs or faith. The Synod on synodality is an effort of the church to break the divisions and barriers that separate us from others. We’d like to call everybody to walk together and understand that GCEA is a great platform for us to fulfill that synodal calling and work together.
I pray that even after this season, we continue to let go of our weaknesses and our bad habits so that we can understand and learn how far the love of Jesus Christ can go. We can be better people through faith, fasting, and obedience. May Lent teach us that this is a time to grow in faith and charity.
Have a wonderful and blessed Good Friday, and Happy Easter!
For more information, visit the GCEA at cnmieconomy.com, on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmigov.economy), or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan Jimenez (Special to the Saipan Tribune)
Pope Francis appointed Bishop Ryan Jimenez to be the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa’s second bishop on June 24, 2016. Bishop Jimenez’ episcopacy is centered on shepherding all the Catholic faithful in the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa toward becoming joyful missionary disciples following his chosen call.