Today we begin the liturgical period of Lent with the emblematic ritual of the imposition of the ashes by which we intend to take on the task of turning our hearts towards the horizons of Grace ... This is not some superficial or transitory conversion, but a spiritual itinerary which has a profound effect on our conscience and involves a sincere intention to amend our lives". ... This means undertaking an authentic conversion to God - returning to Him - recognizing His sanctity, His power, His majesty...Such conversion is possible because God is rich in mercy and great in love. His mercy is regenerating. ... God, in fact, does not want the death of sinners but their conversion to life. ... He offers us His forgiveness, ... so as to give us a new heart purified from the evil that oppresses
it, so as to lead us to participate in His joy. Our world needs to be converted by God, it needs His pardon, His love, it needs a new heart". -Pope Benedict XVI
Lent is a propitious time in which the Church invites Christians to be more intensely aware of Christ's redeeming work and to live our baptism more profoundly... With its duration of forty days, Lent tries to recall some of the events that marked the life and history of ancient Israel, presenting
to us again its paradigmatic value... The Lenten season is an invitation to relive with Jesus the
forty days he spent in the desert, praying and fasting, before undertaking his public mission...
This is the authentic and central program of the Lenten Season: to listen to the Word of truth, to live, speak, and do the truth, to reject lies that poison humanity and are the door to all evils. It is urgent, therefore, during these forty days, to listen again to the Gospel, the Lord's Word, Word of truth, so that in every Christian, in each one of us, the awareness be reinforced of the truth that has been given, that he has given us, to live it and be his witnesses.
Lent stimulates us to let the Word of God penetrate our life and in this way to know the fundamental truth: who we are, where we come from, where we must go, what path we must take in life. Thus, the Lenten season offers us an ascetic and liturgical journey that, helping us to open our eyes in face of our weakness, makes us open our hearts to the merciful love of Christ.
The study of the sacred Scriptures must be a door opened to every believer. It is essential that the revealed
word radically enrich our catechesis and all our efforts to pass on the faith.
Evangelization demands familiarity with God’s word, which calls for dioceses,
parishes and Catholic associations to provide for a serious, ongoing study of the Bible,
while encouraging its prayerful individual and communal reading. We do not blindly seek God,
or wait for him to speak to us first, for “God has already spoken, and there is nothing further that we need to know, which has not been revealed to us”.
Let us receive the sublime treasure of the revealed word.