40 Days of Lent
Friday, 08 March 2019
Why forty days of Lent? This is a good question.
First, we are not alone in our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during this holy season of Lent. We do this as parish communities as well as a Universal Church.
Second, there are things that we do together. We accompany each other in abstaining from meat on Friday, fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and by taking up penance during the season. We can also go to the Bible to reflect with others who spent 40 days or years in similar ways.
• In Exodus 24:12-18, we join Moses in his stay of forty days on the mountain before receiving the Commandments.
• In 1 Kings 19:1-21, Elijah has a preparation of forty days and nights of walking before God speaks to him in a tiny whispering sound.
• The whole people of Israel had 40 years of wandering between the exodus from Egypt and their entry into Canaan the Promised Land. The account of their wanderings in the desert are found in the books of Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua.
May these 40 days be a time of deep renewal for each one of us and draw us into a deeper unity as we embrace the crosses of Lent together. May God Bless us.