Ash Wednesday, 2018
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us!
As we begin Lent this year, the Church’s annual season of repentance and conversion, I want to bring to your attention the pastoral letter released today, Ash Wednesday, by the Catholic bishops of Alaska, entitled: “Living in the Image and Likeness of God: Human Dignity and Divine Designs”. We invite the faithful of Alaska to read this document (Spanish translation is here).
This pastoral letter provides the opportunity to reflect on the foundational truth, evident by both the order of nature and by divine revelation, that each one of us and every human being, is made in the image and likeness of God, and is thus possessed of infinite worth and dignity. This truth has profound implications for every aspect of the life of individuals, families and society as a whole. So many disputed questions in contemporary life, from abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty to the right ordering of sexuality, gender and marriage, as well as religious liberty, racism and immigration, turn on the true understanding of human dignity and the divine plan for human flourishing.
During Lent, I invite you to prayerfully study our Church’s teachings on human dignity and our participation in the divine plan. This is also an opportunity to consider how we might more effectively live and proclaim these truths in our families and society while engaging in a respectful dialogue with those who have different or conflicting views.
May God grant you a holy and fruitful Lent!
Yours in Christ,
Bishop Andrew Bellisario C.M.