By Christina Hermoso
As Christendom marks the Second Sunday of Lent today, a Roman Catholic Church leader called on the faithful “to do charity work and live out the true meaning of the Lenten season.”
San Jose (Nueva Ecija) Bishop Roberto Mallari, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education called on the faithful to make their Lenten observance more meaningful by donating to charity the money that they will save from fasting and abstinence.
“Whatever amount that we will save from fasting and abstinence may be donated to charity that can help fund the education of poor but deserving students as well as feed undernourished children. Such is the invitation of dioceses through the Church’s ‘Ponto ng Pinoy’ Lenten fund-raising initiative,” Mallari said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
The bishop said the Church has several organizations and groups that lead feeding and scholarship programs where donations may be coursed. “The help that we give is very important as it is also for the future of our country,” he added.
Meanwhile, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle continues to call on the faithful to support the Church’s Fast2Feed program, which targets to feed malnourished children. The program encourages the faithful to fast and to donate the money that was saved from fasting to support the Church’s feeding and livelihood assistance projects.
Catholic Church officials also continue to encourage the faithful “to examine their conscience, to repent of any sin, and to observe the Sacrament of Penance” as the observance of the Holy Week nears.
The confessional will be open for longer hours today, the Second Sunday of Lent, to enable more churchgoers to go to confession. Catholics are also reminded to observe the three tenets of the observance of the Lenten season: almsgiving, prayer, and fasting as forms of sacrifices and in accordance with Pope Francis’ call for Christians to observe “mercy and compassion” towards others.
Mass readings and reflections on Sunday will focus on the events narrating the Transfiguration of Christ, which took place near the end of Jesus’ public ministry. In the presence of His apostles, Peter, James, and John atop a mountain, Jesus’ clothing suddenly became dazzling white and with Him, appeared Moses and Elijah, who spoke with Him. A cloud overshadowed them and a voice was heard, “This is my Son, the Chosen One, listen to Him.”
Church officials said, “Jesus’ transfiguration was an affirmation of His divinity as the Son of God sent down from heaven to spread the good news of man’s salvation. As Christians, we must embrace and embody His teachings.” The Cathedral Daily Missal said Jesus’ transfiguration serves as “a model for our own transfiguration as a goal we must attain by profound realization of our own sinfulness and the need for a Redeemer, by preserving purity of body and soul, by combating our passions and carnal instincts, by observing the commandments, and by participating in the mass.”