Forty Days of Lent before Easter Sunday
The forty days of Lent begin with Ash Wednesday and count six days per week for six weeks. Sundays, as days celebrating resurrection, are NOT considered days of Lent. There are five weeks in Lent ending with Holy Week. These six weeks of six days each come to thirty-six days. Ash Wednesday, and then Thursday, Friday, and Saturday accumulate to four more days; thus counting for the forty days in total.
To determine Ash Wednesday on the calendar, we count back forty days (not counting Sundays) from Easter. Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. The spring equinox is March 20, and the first full moon after it is April 11. Thus Easter is April 16.
Lent begins Ash Wednesday March 1
St. Ann: Stations of the Cross Friday Evenings (7:00 p.m.), March 3 – April 7. Good Friday Service on Good Friday (7:00 p.m.) but no stations.
Sacred Heart: Stations of the Cross Sunday afternoons (3:00 p.m.), March 5 – April 2. NO stations on Palm Sunday afternoon.
The Lay Presider Ministry at Sacred Heart has Stations without Benediction on Friday evenings during Lent, (except Good Friday), led by lay persons without a priest or deacon.
During Lent, Catholic are asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays during Lent, and fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Abstinence simply means “abstaining from meat.” The flesh of mammals and birds (essentially any animal that is warm blooded) is considered meat. The flesh of reptiles, fish (cold blooded), and bird eggs and cheese are not considered meat. Anyone fourteen years of age or older who will not be physically harmed by the diet is asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays during Lent.
We define fasting for Lenten purposes as meaning eating only one regular meal and two smaller meals or snacks, with no eating between meals. Fasting only applies on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and then only to those between the ages of 18 and 59 who have no medical problem aggravated by the practice.
At the time when this is being written, Sacred Heart has donations or pledges of 21.41% of its goal of $47,829. This represents participation of 2.89% of the parish families. Thanks to all who have made a commitment. If you have not pledged as yet, please prayerfully consider a commitment, no matter how small. Remember that this is Sacred Heart’s way of doing its fair share to support programs that every parish uses throughout the Archdiocese. Envelopes are available in church.
Reflection on Scripture
My father used to say, “Money does not buy happiness, but it makes the misery more tolerable.” (I understand this quote came from Clare Boothe Luce.) Jesus tells us in today’s gospel that we are not to worry about money. Is money therefore entirely evil? Jesus is not condemning capitalism or monetary systems. He is saying that money, wealth, and the transitory benefits it brings are here today and gone tomorrow. There are no pockets in a shroud. Jesus tells us to look to heaven and simply use the things on earth as tools on the way to eternal life. In other words, “Use the tools on the way, but love the destination.”
Readings for First Sunday of Lent
Gn 2:7-9, 3:1-7
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