The season of Lent begins on Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is a day that holds profound meaning for many, reflected in the large numbers who come to Mass on that day. Masses will be held at 9:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The season of Lent is marked by two major themes. The first is that of baptism. During this season, those adults preparing for baptism and initiation into the Catholic Church enter into their final period of preparation. This period of purification and enlightenment is typically marked by the public celebrations of the scrutinies.
While we do not have any adults preparing for baptism at this time, all of us can pray for those throughout the Church preparing for baptism. There preparation is supported by our prayer, as well as our joining with them in their purification.
This leads to the second theme of Lent; that of penance. As the gospel reading for Ash Wednesday reminds us, the practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are traditional ways of entering into the spirit of the Lenten season, returning to God with all our hearts. They give us the opportunity to focus our minds and hearts completely on living in the ways of Christ.