Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On February 18, 2015, we begin our Forty Days of Lent. This is a time of reflection and prayer for some and others may donate to charity in the tradition of almsgiving. For many though, the tradition of fasting is the chosen means of honoring their faith. Though the paths we take through the Lenten season may differ, we all embark on the same spiritual journey and we all share in the same goal; to reaffirm our commitment to Christ and to our fellow man.
In reaffirming these commitments, I am reminded of a passage by the prophet Isaiah, who said that true fasting is, “…sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless: clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own” Is 58:6-7.
We should consider then that fasting is not just a physical act, but a spiritual one. It is the emptying of sin in our hearts and of moral weakness in our minds. It is a baptismal renewal achieved through the giving of ourselves to God and to each other. Only by passing through this emptiness do we become spiritually full again.
In keeping with that wisdom, I ask you to include Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada as part of your Lenten Observance. If you pray, please pray for all those Catholic Charities humbly serves. If you fast, please consider donating your unused food to their food pantry. If you give alms, please remember the Annual Ash Wednesday Collection and the Faces of Hunger Campaign are wonderful opportunities to assist in the work of our Church for our brothers and sisters in need.
manifestation of God’s love for all people is made possible by your devotion
and generosity. Together, we are the hands of Christ serving the most
vulnerable among us. I pray that
this Lent, in your own way, you will all serve as shepherds to guide those in
need into the Paschal mysteries we celebrate at Easter and God’s divine light.
Most Reverend Joseph A. Pepe, D.D., J.C.D.