What is Lent?

by Feb 15, 2018Blog, Liturgy0 comments

What is Lent?

Lent is the liturgical time of conversion, which marks the Church to prepare us for the great feast of Easter. It is time to repent of our sins and change something of ourselves to be better and to live closer to Christ.

Lent lasts 40 days; It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. Throughout this time, especially in the Sunday liturgy, we make an effort to recover the rhythm and style of true believers that we must live as children of God.

The liturgical color of this time is the purple meaning mourning and penance. It is a time of reflection, of penance, of spiritual conversion; time of preparation for the paschal mystery.

In Lent, Christ invites us to change our lives. The Church invites us to live Lent as a journey towards Jesus Christ, listening to the Word of God, praying, sharing with our neighbor and doing good works. It invites us to live a series of Christian attitudes that help us to become more like Jesus Christ, because through the action of our sin, we move further away from God.

Therefore, Lent is the time of forgiveness and fraternal reconciliation. Every day, throughout our lives, we must throw out of our hearts hatred, resentment, envy, jealousy that opposes our love for God and for our brothers and sisters. In Lent, we learn to know and appreciate the Cross of Jesus. With this we also learn to take up our cross with joy to reach the glory of the resurrection.

40 days

The duration of Lent is based on the symbol of the number forty in the Bible. In this, we talk about the forty days of the flood, the forty years of the departure of the Jewish people in the desert, the forty days of Moses and Elijah on the mountain, the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before to begin his public life, of the 400 years that the stay of the Jews in Egypt lasted.

In the Bible, the number four symbolizes the material universe, followed by zeros signifying the time of our life on earth, followed by trials and difficulties.

The practice of Lent dates from the fourth century, when there is a tendency to constitute it in a time of penance and renewal for the whole Church, with the practice of fasting and abstinence. Preserved with enough vigor, at least initially, in the churches of the East, the penitential practice of Lent has been increasingly lightened in the West, but a penitential and conversion spirit must be observed.

Translated into English from the original post in Spanish from Aciprensa.


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