Fifth Sunday of Lent: ‘Peace comes from a renewed heart’ – bishop

Published March 28, 2020, 2:17 AM

by Christina Hermoso

As the Catholic faithful observes the Fifth Sunday of Lent Sunday, March 29, Military Ordinariate of the Philippines Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio has appealed for lasting peace that can only come from a renewed heart.



“Peace comes from a changed and renewed heart. Peace is difficult to achieve if our heart is filled with anger which is the root of all misunderstanding,” Florencio said over Church-run Radio Veritas.

“This Lent, it is important for us to acknowledge that we have to have renewed hearts to attain peace. This becomes possible when we live out the Word of God and when we listen to His teachings which the Church helps spread,” he added.

The MOP bishop urged the faithful to persevere in prayer, to pray for lasting peace, and to always be ready to help those who are in need.

“Let us be charitable to others. Let us cultivate love in our hearts for our neighbor because without love, there can be no peace,” Florencio said.

The Church leader called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and all rebel groups “to come to terms and work for peace. We belong to one family. We are brothers and sisters and we only have one objective – peace and happiness,” Florencio stressed.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines will offer this day, March 29, as a Day of Prayer for the protection of the medical front liners against the corona virus disease (COVID-19), as nine doctors have died from the disease.

In a circular, CBCP president Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles invited all the dioceses to offer prayers for the country’s health workers today, March 29, the fifth Sunday of Lent.

“We do this in all our Masses, our Rosaries, during our Holy Hour, and in our moments of personal prayer,” he said.

Passion Time, meanwhile, begins today, the Fifth Sunday of Lent, when religious readings, reflections, and prayers of the liturgy in Holy Masses traditionally focus on the Passion of Christ.

The faithful are encouraged to continue to pray and hear holy masses on TV and online as the Holy Week nears.

In the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, the last two weeks of Lent form the season called Passion Time, the first week, which begins today known as Passion Week, while the second week, which begins next Sunday, April 5, known as the Holy Week.

The observance of Passion Time or Passion Week lasts until April 11, Black Saturday, before the start of the Easter Vigil in the evening.

Considered as a deeper and more solemn time of Lent, the Catholic faithful are encouraged to reflect on the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Mother. Traditional devotions include the praying of the Way of the Cross, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, meditation on the five Sorrowful Mysteries, and the recitation of the five prayers in honor of Christ’s five wounds.

Devotees of the Blessed Mother traditionally offer novena prayers and special devotions during the observance of Passion Time.

“Through His Passion, we recognize the enormity of His love for us. God’s forgiving and healing love brings new life out of the destruction and separation from God that was caused by sin,” Church leaders said.