In just a few days we will celebrate Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent - our time of fasting, prayer and reflection as we prepare for the celebration of Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection.
This season is one of mystery, symbol and meaning. The forty days of Lent mirror the 40 days of fasting that Christ voluntarily underwent before His ministry began. Tempted by the devil, He abstained from even the good of food so that He might be strengthened for the work of proclaiming the Gospel – and prepared for the sacrifice of the Cross. Tradition holds that Christ spent 40 hours in the tomb, before rising at Easter.
If Christ Himself took this time to ready Himself for work that he was eminently qualified for, how much more do we need this!
The sacrifices of Lent are a gift to us, to detach us from sins and distractions and direct us toward the Cross - that we might come to embrace it is Christ has.
In our parishes, we will be making a few sacrifices as a community to help us along the way. As your pastor, I will be taking extra time to hear confessions in the evening. As a parish we will be holding Stations of the Cross (both parishes) and at all of our Masses we will observe a more serious tone by omitting the sign of peace and taking advantage of the solemnity of the Latin Mass parts.
How will you celebrate Lent – what sacrifice is God calling you to make, that you might draw closer to Him?