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Saturday, May 18, 2024

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Ash Wednesday: An Entry Into Lent Under The Sign Of Hope

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This Wednesday, there is the Ash Wednesday mass in all the parishes of Mauritius. It should be noted that this Wednesday also marks the 40 hours. Because of the covid, the last two years, we could not celebrate the 40 hours as usual. This year, we expect a big crowd in the parishes of the island this year.

Ash Wednesday symbolizes the entry into Lent. This day is characterized by the imposition of ashes, by which man recognizes his fragility before God and shows the hope that he places in the mercy of God.

Ash Wednesday opens the great ascent towards Easter which begins with 40 days of fasting and penance: Lent. If the Christian is called to recognize his fragility on this particular day, the path that opens to him invites him to trust and hope in God who became man, who died and rose again.

The custom of covering the head with ashes is an ancient penitential practice that goes back to the Hebrew people. The rite of the imposition of ashes is a penitential gesture: man acknowledges his fault and asks forgiveness for his sins. But this rite also reminds us of our creaturely condition, a condition that pride would have us forget.

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