This week we begin the great season of Lent. Lent is a 40-day retreat for the entire Church to help us to prepare to renew our Baptismal Promises at the Easter Masses. In that renewal, we recommit ourselves to following Jesus as his disciples. The purpose of Lent, and of the Lenten disciplines, is to help us to be spiritually ready for that renewal.
Our 40 days of preparation begins with Ash Wednesday. One of the most powerful signs of repentance and sorrow in the time of Christ was to put on sackcloth and ashes. It was an expression of one’s contrition for sin and asking God for his mercy. On Ash Wednesday, ashes are put on our forehead in the shape of a cross, and we are called to turn away from sin and to embrace the Gospel. We begin our preparation for Easter by acknowledging our sins and seeking God’s forgiveness.
Lent is a penitential season. It is a time in which we take an honest look at ourselves and at our life of discipleship. We ask ourselves, “How am I doing in my relationship with Christ? Am I spending good, quality time in prayer? Am I trying to listen to the voice of God, allowing Him to direct and guide my life, my decisions, my actions? How am I doing in my relationships with others? Am I being the best spouse, parent, son or daughter, friend, co-worker, etc., as I can? Do I try to treat others as I would have them treat me?”
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an important part of this penitential season. When was the last time that you went to confession? For some of us, that is fairly recent, but for others, it has perhaps been a very long time. We have Confessions every Tuesday and Saturday at 11 am. In addition, during the Lenten Season, we will have confessions on Sunday, March 24, and Sunday March 31, after both the 9:30 am and 11:30 am Masses.
— Fr. Mike Comer