Don’t be afraid to look at Him!

By. I pbro. Juan Lázaro Vélez González, parish priest of the church Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, Mantua, diocese of Pinar del Río.

“Without prophetic vision people shall perish” (Prov. 28:19)

Our christian life is marked by strong times. Times that invite us to live radically the commitment we have made since baptism, which help us to mature in our choice for Christ and his message of salvation.

One such time is Lent, which begins with the celebration of Wednesday with the sign of the imposition of the ashes. It might seem to many of us that it is something that is repeated every year, that has been imposed on us, that has no meaning and meaning in our daily lives. But have we ever wondered what the sign of the imposition of ashes means? What is the point for our lives today of this cluster of rites and celebrations? What is the point for our Cuba today of this sign?

First of all, the sign of the imposition of ashes is an external rite of conversion, desicceration, and penance. Therefore, these celebrations invite us to read the reality of the world present with the eyes of God. The imposition of ashes must lead us to examine our personal life, embedded in the social reality of today’s Cuba as a key to salvation.

All the practicing Catholic believers, who live on this beautiful island of Cuba, of Christian tradition since its foundation, who over the years have stumbled for their imperfections, but who with Hope and humility we want to rise with the only strength of Christ and the goodwill of all his children, both of those who lived within it , like those who live in the diaspora. For believers this is a time of renewal and personal reflection because it invites us to:

1. Move from death to life.

2. To free us from the bondage of sin to the joy of the new man.

3. To free ourselves from all that prevents us from living as free, authentic men; men who live justice and love.

And like every path and process done in the light of God’s Word, it has to have a strong impact on our personal, family, and social lives. The events experienced by master Jesus Christ, his teachings, his lifestyle have not been left in the past, but give full meaning today to the history of all times and move us to commitment.

All of us who have made a serious examination of conscience in view of the reality that the world today experiences as a consequence of the pandemic by covid-19, history, country, family and social life, etc., and as a priest accompanying a piece of God’s people, I experiment with my sheep, which exist in this national reality elements of death and sin , who are impoverishing them as men and women, who wane their dignity, who destroy family and social unity.

The Church incarnate in the midst of this complex world looks at Him without fear, because we know that with Him we set out before the new areopagos that defy evangelical credibility, because it reminds us of our nature of being children of God.

In the light of the Incarnate Mystery, through the celebration of love (Eucharist), the Christian reflects and discovers what God’s plan is about himself; a plan of justice, peace and love, of help from the strongest to the weakest, of social and human promotion, of respect and dialogue so necessary today for national reconciliation, coexistence and fraternity.

The gesture of the ashes on my head, with which I set out on my way and invite you to join in walking with your gaze fixed on Him, tells us that we have all been taken from the earth, we are mud. We are told in the biblical sentence: “Remember that you are dust and dust you will become.” Let us remember that Jesus Christ is the only friend who never fails. Today’s Catholics in Cuba must build a new city, regenerating dynamisms in Christian communities, in social and family structures in the Light of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

In this pilgrimage to the future Homeland, we entrust ourselves to the Blessed Virgin of Copper Charity, to make her land and her children worthy of fulfilling the promises of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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