Ash Wednesday, Lent and Holy Week
Even if you happened upon our parish website by chance, if you have kept reading this far you know what “Ash Wednesday,” “Lent” and “Holy Week” are. What sort of memory comes to mind when you read those words?
A smudge of ashes on your fore head that prompted someone to ask, “Why?”
Years when you gave up sweets, candy or, perhaps, cigarettes.
Doing something extra.
Long and dramatic church services.
More time for prayer.
More time for scripture.
Hoping Easter would come more quickly.
Each of these memories holds a nugget of what the Lenten journey is all about. But in a single word, the key to Ash Wednesday, Lent and Holy Week is “Baptism.” This is the time of year when we consider the importance of our baptismal promises and recommit ourselves to living them faithfully. It is no accident that those seeking to join the Church are baptized at Easter, following the “purification” of Lent. Catechumens and Candidates do not make that journey alone. The whole Church makes it with them.
The ritual for baptism contains the “Ephphetha” prayer (See Mark 7: 32-37.) During this Lent, let us pray that these words will be fulfilled in each of us:
The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak.
May he soon touch your ears to receive his word,
and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory