Pope Francis is urging Christians to slow down, focus on what is essential: “wake up to the message of the Lord”.
Pope Francis summoned Christians to slow down in a fast-paced and often directionless life and fast from the unnecessary things that distract us, to heed Lent that he described as “a wake-up call for the soul”.
The Pope’s words came during the homily at Holy Mass on Ash Wednesday with the blessing and imposition of the ashes that took place, as per tradition, in the Basilica of Saint Sabina on the Aventine Hill.
He noted that this wake-up call is accompanied by the message that the Lord proclaims through the lips of the prophet: “Return to me.”
If we have to return, the Pope said, it means that we have wandered off.
“Lent is the time to rediscover the direction of life. Because in life’s journey, as in every journey, what really matters is not to lose sight of the goal” he said.
The Pope said that during a journey, if we are distracted we will not get far, and he encouraged believers to ask themselves whether they are seeking the way forward in the journey of life or whether they are satisfied with living in the moment and thinking only of feeling good, solving some problems and having fun.
“What is the path?” he said, “Is it the search for health, which many today say comes first but which eventually passes? Could it be possessions and wellbeing?”