Cleric tasks Christians on humility, forgiveness, love during Lent
The parish priest of St Peters Catholic Church, Mbiabong Ayanayan, Uyo, Rev. Fr. Charles Ekeng, has admonished Christians to cultivate the virtues of humility, forgiveness, and respect for others during this year’s Lenten season.
The cleric, who gave the admonition yesterday at a mass to celebrate the 2020 Ash Wednesday, explained that human beings were God’s creatures and therefore, the virtues of integrity, honesty and the welfare of others should tower higher.
His words: “When a Christian passes through the period of Lent, his or her lifestyle should change for good, and I expect that when a Christian passes through Lent, he should not be the same.
“He should be a new person because Lent should be a period during which we are renewed; we are recreated; we become new people, and being new people, certainly our relationship with God improves.”
The priest urged believers to be discreet when carrying out their Lenten obligations of fasting, prayers and alms giving.
“You are not supposed to announce to the world when praying, fasting or giving alms. You do not need to shout or disturb the neighborhood while praying,’’ he said.
Citing Matthew chapter 6 verse 5 to buttress his claim, Ekeng urged parishioners to always pray secretly to God.
He maintained that faithful were not supposed to publicise to the world when offering alms and fasting or even betray emotion by looking gloomy or downcast to attract attention.
“Many people usually look very sad and dull when fasting, and that is not good at all. You don’t have to let the whole world know you are fasting. Lent is a season for repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, and love. That is why Christians worldwide mark Ash Wednesday as the beginning of Lenten season,” he stated.
The Catholic priest reminded Christians that, in spite of their sins, God always gives man the privilege or chance to seek repentance, adding that such an opportunity should not be abused.
He called on adherents to all-time exhibit find themselves, adding: “We should not go about with countenance that would make people pity us.”
“So when giving alms to the needy, as part of your duty in this season, you should not announce what you have done because our heavenly father, who sees in secret, will reward you in the open,” Ekeng admonished.
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