Lent begins Wednesday, February 10 and ends on Thursday, March 24.
Lent is a season of repentance, prayer, and fasting. The season last for 40 days, beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter. The season reflects the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness praying and fasting, before starting his public ministry (Matthew 4:1-2).
Ash Wednesday has its roots in the ancient Jewish tradition of repentance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. The ashes also symbolize grief–grief that we have sinned and caused division from God.
So why Lent? First, it is a season of focused discipline. While we are called on to repent and prayer all year round, Lent challenges to focused discipline for a season.
Second, it is a season of communion. During Lent, we get to hold hands and kneel symbolically with other Christian traditions.
Finally, whether we abstain from certain meats or certain drinks, or whatever we do, we should do it all for the glory of God (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:31)–not the gratification of the flesh.
Prayer. Holy Father, grant us your strength during this season of Lent. We need it, as we seek renewal and to be drawn closer to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.