And said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” Ezekiel 9:4
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. As the priest applies the ashes to a person's forehead, he speaks the words: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust, you shall return."
What is Lent?
At the beginning of his public life, Jesus was baptized by his cousin John the Baptist in the Jordan River. John was a prophet and a preacher, and he urged people to be baptized as a sign of their repentance from sin.
After Jesus was baptized, according to the Gospel of Matthew, the Holy Spirit descended upon him “like a dove,” and a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
People were amazed, but Jesus immediately went away by himself into the desert. There he fasted and prayed, and while he was there, Satan appeared to him three times, tempting him.
Jesus stayed in the desert for 40 days. When he left the desert, he began calling his disciples and apostles, as the mission that led to his crucifixion had begun.
The Church says that Lent is a 40-day period of unity with “the mystery of Jesus in the desert.”
By sacrificing small things, as well as fasting, praying, and giving to charity, Catholics are invited to experience a period of prayer like the one Jesus experienced and to prepare themselves to resist Satan’s temptation and fulfil the mission God has given the Church.
Jesus gave us his Dignity when he washed the feet of his friends at the last supper. The act of feet washing was for the servants of the house, not the host or honoured guest, and definitely not for the son of God. When have we ever washed the feet of our friends? Jesus became the servant-master, the one who served us, even though he is greater then we will ever be. The humility this took was great, such an act of love, so simple yet so grand. To wash the dust from our feet, to wipe them dry, he who would save us all, on his knees to wash our feet from our weary travels. It is our dignity that we hang on to, we are always protecting it from harm, but Jesus free gives of it.
Time to Reflect and share our thanks, for this is the time that we remember the greatest sacrifice.
Have a blessed Lent!
|Important Dates of Lent||Brief Overview of Significance||2019 Date|
|Ash Wednesday||The beginning of Lent, a day of reflection and repentance from sin||March 6, 2019|
|Palm Sunday||Celebrates Jesus's triumphant entry into Jerusalem||April 14, 2019|
|Holy Week||The week leading up to Easter||April 14- April 20, 2019|
|Maundy Thursday||Commemorates the foot washing and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles||April 18, 2019|
|Good Friday||Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary||April 19, 2019|
|Easter Sunday||Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and his victory over sin and death.||April 21, 2019|