Ash Wednesday 2021

In this time of fragility...
...let us humbly acknowledge our human situation.

Here we are again... already in Lent! At the beginning of last year's Lent, we were beginning to feel the terrible effects of the coronavirus in the world. One year later, we are still in the midst of a health crisis. The time of Lent, an invitation to the desert in order to pray, is an opportunity to make progress in the spiritual life. To do so, according to the Ignatian perspective that leads us to find God in all things, we must first see reality as it is and above all see ourselves as we are.

The Covid-19 reveals more clearly than ever before the human fragility. It opens our eyes and forces us to humbly acknowledge our situation. That is the annual call of Ash Wednesday, but this year we hear it even better!

While the liturgy rightly offers us the option of using the phrase "Convert and believe in the Gospel" when the ashes are laid on our foreheads, the traditional formula is probably best suited to the beginning of Lent 2021: "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return" (echoing the text of Genesis 3:19). A call to humility better understood in times of pandemic.

However, this is not a time for self-pity, for discouragement. The call to conversion in Lent is also - and perhaps even more so in times of pandemic - a call to the responsibility we all have to ensure the quality of the world in which we live. Fragility encourages us to solidarity, mutual support, and even self-giving, as evidenced by so many health workers around the world.

Throughout Lent 2021, we will publish a newsletter every Wednesday. It will open with a short reflection on the theme "In this time of fragility..." with a quotation from Pope Francis' encyclical Fratelli Tutti. Mosaics by the Jesuit artist Marco Rupnik will also accompany our journey. Have a good Lent! May fragility encourage you to find strength and courage in God!

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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