By Honore Onana Olah, SJ
Pope Francis, like all Catholics in the world, attended the Mass of Ash Wednesday. In the chapel of Hekima University College in Nairobi, Kenya, it was the Fr. Lonely Paul Mashonga, smm., who presided over the Eucharist.
It was indeed during the traditional Wednesday Mass that took place on March 6, 2019 that the students and staff of Hekima University College received the Ashes to mark their entry into Lent. Fr. Lonely Paul Mashonga, smm., from Montfort Congregation, invited all the faithful present to follow Christ closely during this period of Lent.
Commenting on the readings of the day, the principal celebrant stated that like the Israelites in the Book of Joel, “we are called to repent”. Indeed, we are facing many problems today “because we repeatedly forsake the true and living God and try others gods. We want to live and independently life of sin and death”.
Giving one of the way of fasting for this year, Fr. Mashonga, smm., added, that “today, our fasting can have an ecological face. For example we might just concentrate on a way we used to use water”.
“May these forty days be a period of surrender of contemplation reflecting about the changes lent is calling us”, he concluded.
Lastly, let us recall that this Mass of Ash Wednesday comes after the Diaconal and Presbyteral ordination in the ecological Basilica of Hekima.