2018 Lenten Message of His Holiness Pope Francis

“Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt 24: 12)

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Once again, the Pasch of the Lord draws near! In our preparation for Easter, God in his providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion”. Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life.

With this message, I would like again this year to help the entire Church experience this time of grace anew, with joy and in truth. I will take my cue from the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (24:12).

These words appear in Christ’s preaching about the end of time. They were spoken in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, where the Lord’s passion would begin. In reply to a question of the disciples, Jesus foretells a great tribulation and describes a situation in which the community of believers might well find itself: amid great trials, false prophets would lead people astray and the love that is the core of the Gospel would grow cold in the hearts of many.

False prophets

Let us listen to the Gospel passage and try to understand the guise such false prophets can assume.Read More »

Is it sinful for a Christian to Not Fasting?

Christian fasting isn’t some kind of a “work” that’s commanded by Christ or required by Scripture. Fasting, in the biblical sense, is the abstaining from food and drink for a spiritual reason. However anything you can temporarily give up in order to better focus on God can be considered a fast (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). In the Old Testament era, the Jews fasted frequently, though there was only one fast prescribed by the law. Once each year, on the Day of Atonement, the Hebrews were to “afflict” their souls (Leviticus 16:31), which meant fasting (cf. Isaiah 58:3).

Though there are no compulsory fasts required of Christians today, the New Testament seems to take for granted that children of God would see the need to fast occasionally.

Is Fasting Obligatory for Christians?Read More »