The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos Most Rev. Adewale Martins, has urged Christians to emulate the life of Jesus Christ, saying Jesus was an example of purity, sacrifice and selfless service to humanity.
Martins said this on Wednesday while administering ashes on the forehead of the faithful at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ash Wednesday is one of the most popular and important holy days in the liturgical calendar.
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, a season of fasting and prayer, it includes wearing of ashes on the head, which symbolises that we are dust, and to dust we shall return.
Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday, and is chiefly observed by Catholics, although many other Christians observe it too.
Martins urged Christians to use the Lenten season to intensify prayers, abstain from sin, fast and give alms.
“In Catholic Churches all over the world, the faithful are expected to receive ash on their foreheads as a sign of repentance and a reminder that we all came from ash and will someday return to ash,” he said.
According to Martins, “At this period of lent, we are all expected to draw nearer God by constant prayer, forsaken sin and being at peace with our fellow men.
“It is a season of renewal of our faith in God by renouncing all fleshy desires that tend to weigh us down and purifying our spirit for the greater glory of God.
“But it should not just end during the Lenten season,’’ he said.
The cleric urged Christians to use the Lenten season to reflect on their lives and make necessary amends with God.