It seems as though Ash Wednesday and Lent are coming upon us very early this year. So, this got me to thinking about it. It is very interesting that Ash Wednesday comes shortly after last Sunday’s Gospel reading where Jesus was speaking to his home synagogue in Nazareth. And, he tells the congregants after reading from a scroll of Isaiah that today that passage of the Scripture has been fulfilled in their hearing. Soon, his neighbors said in essence, hey, wait a minute isn’t that the son of Joseph? Of course, their meaning was that they knew his parents and saw him grow up and Jesus could not possibly be the Messiah. Soon, their discontent became anger and they tried to throw him off the top of the hill. How would we react if someone who we saw grow up, who was the son of poor parents and whose father was a laborer, got up in Mass and made the same claim? Would we accept him or her as a prophet or holy person or would we do, as the Nazarean congregants, and scoff him or her out of the church?
As we have our so-called fling on Fat Tuesday, do we ever think why this is done? It is because the next day is to begin 40 days of deprivation to commemorate the 40 days spent in the desert by Jesus as he fasted and prayed. In paragraph 540 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church it says of this, “By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.” So, on Fat Tuesday, people seem to believe they need to self-indulge before the 40 days of fasting.
Let me know what you think.
Let the light of our Lord shine upon you!
REM (Ray Makowski) Co-Founder, Director and Secretary-Treasurer