Bishop's Message
Bishop’s Message - February 2018

My Dear Fathers, Sisters and Brothers Grace and peace from God Our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

I.Lent
With Ash Wednesday, which this year falls on the 14th of February, we will enter into the Holy Season of Lent. It is a time to repent of our sins, to renounce resolutely sin and sinful tendencies and to return to the Lord our God.

Biblical Words for Sin: In the Bible sin stands for the idea of missing the mark. Judges 20:16 speaks about seven hundred left-handed Benjaminites who are able to sling a stone at a hair’s breadth without missing. The word translated “miss” is the same as the word “sin”. Refusing to grow into the image and likeness of God is to miss the mark or goal of our life. Close to this idea of sin is Prophet Daniel’s words to Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar,: “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting” (Dan 5:27). St. John of the cross would have paraphrased it as: “You have been measured by love and found wanting.” According to St. Paul it would be falling short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23).

Another Biblical word for sin is rebellion or transgression. Whereas rebellion indicates a state of mind which opposes the will of God, transgression describes the action which follows. Men are “alienated” from God, and they have become “enemies” in their mind (Col 1:21). This alienation has found expression in the spirit of revolt and the refusal of subjection to God. Behaviour of this kind is described as “transgression” that is, stepping over the LakshmanRekha (Commandments of God).

Yet another Biblical word for sin is “iniquity.” It means crookedness, perversion, distortion. It is the opposite of being straight or upright. It conveys the idea that what was originally straight has become bent and twisted. Man is no longer as God made him, but has become disfigured.

Repentance and Forgiveness of Sin
Sin is to be repented of and forsaken. This is God’s primary invitation to sinners. Through prophet Isaiah the Lord says, “Let the wicked abandon his way, let him forsake his thoughts, let him turn to Yahweh for he will have mercy, for our God is generous in forgiving” (Is 55:7). According to Mark the Evangelist Jesus began his ministry with the call to repentance, “The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe the Good News” (Mk. 1:15). His disciples too did the same. On the day of Pentecost Peter said: “Each of you must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven” (Acts 2:38).

Repentance is a change of mind about sin accompanied by a detest for it and a turning away from it. Repentance is choosing to live as the image and likeness of God. Repentance will impel one to re-establish his/her relationship with God, neighbour, true self and creation.

When one truly repents of sin he/she will confess it to God. King David acknowledged his sin: “Then I made known to you my sin and did not cover my iniquity. I said, I will confess my faults to the Lord, and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Ps 32:5).

The prodigal son said: “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you” (Lk 15:21).

St. John assures us, “If we confess our sins He who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 Jn 1:19).

Sin is not the central message of the Bible but redemption of human kind through our Lord Jesus Christ by the Father who loved the world so much. St. Paul asks the Christians of Rome, “Can we sin again?”, and gives the answer too, “Of course not: we are dead regarding sin.” (Rom 6:2).

I wish each of you a Holy and Fruitful Lenten Season!

Most Rev. Raphy Manjaly
Bishop of Allahabad

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BISHOP’S LENTEN MESSAGE - 2016
Bishop’s Easter Message - 2015
Bishop’s Lenten Message 2015
Bishop’s Message for Christmas 2014
Bishop’s Message for Advent 2014
Bishop’s Message - August 2014
Bishop’s Easter Message - 2014
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Bishop's Message - 2014
Bishop's Message - 2013
  • Give me back the joy of your salvation, sustain in me a generous spirit.
  • Give me back the joy of your salvation, sustain in me a generous spirit.