Lent arrives on this (Ash) Wednesday. (I still have some Christmas ornaments to put away.)
Now begins the time when we prayerfully focus on getting ready for the Feast of Easter. Easter is at the very core of who we are as followers of Jesus. “And if Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, your faith.” (I Cor. 15:14)
FAST AND ABSTINENCE IN LENT
No Meat for everybody over 14 years old on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent.
Fasting means one full meal and two smaller meals in the day. It applies to people in good health between 18 and 59. Our two fast days are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. We are encouraged to extend that fasting to Holy Saturday.
These holy practices help us remember that we are dependent on things outside ourselves for our well-being. Our ultimate dependence is on the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. We have life because he gave His.
In a similar way, what can happen when we give up something of ourselves? For example, when I’m hungry, giving up the need to eat. Giving up that meal, that snack, also might help me think about people the world over who are starving. Can our hunger remind us of the ways in which we can be a part of feeding those people.
...Which brings me to another aspect of Lenten practices. We need to work at moving beyond “giving up” things, to “doing for” people.
But often those two can work together. For exam¬ple, writing this Twitch reminded me to make a dona¬tion to Feeding South Florida. I’m not going to beat this topic to death.
Just ask God in the coming three days to let you re¬ally get into the spirit of Lent 2023. Who can you reach out to who hasn’t been in your life recently?
How many folk have been distanced by COVID-19? What thorn in your side needs to be acknowledged as also having a rose attached? You get the idea.
Each Friday night during Lent we will have Stations of the Cross at 6:00 p.m. After the Stations we will have a simple supper, EXCEPT for this Friday (when McDonnell Hall will be in use for the reception following Jim Cowgill’s 4:00 p.m. funeral. To Jim and Lourdes, Jim’s parents, and to his wife Marlene and their great kids Ashlyn and J.T. our thanks for sharing him with us.)
Simple suppers will begin on March 3rd.
Although technically it hasn’t happened for me yet, by the time you read this we will all have been blessed with a great Fish Fry. Past experience promises me the best. Elli Hurst called in to be scheduled for frying, and as I said before, 15th Street Fisheries was her family. If anyone knows a little bit about fish it will be Elli. Simon Rave signed up to join her in the frying. Also, to all the folk who set up and decorated (Judy and Leo and many others) our heartfelt thanks. It’s not only about raising a few dollars for paying the light bills. The Fry is also a wonderful opportunity to gather in the community. Folk often bring neighbors and that helps us extend our hospitality. I’m almost afraid to say the following for fear of jinxing it, but I really hope and expect will have our kitchen for the next Fish Fry. Hope.
It’s not too early to begin saying a few prayers for Father Tom Boyer who is coming on March 4th to begin our Lenten Parish Mission. I’m hoping for a Spirit-filled three days that will increase our gratitude for the Lord’s love. May Fr. Tom deepen us in our appreciation of our faith.