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February 18, 2024


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Years ago, a non-denominational minister I knew asked me why we Catholics “make such a big deal about Lent since it is not in the bible.” It is true that Lent is not in the bible, however we see the number 40 (there are 40 days in Lent) and the practices we undertake in this season used repeatedly in the bible. Before Jesus began his public ministry, following the call of the Spirit, he went out into the desert to fast and pray for 40 days and was tempted by the devil. Jesus gives us the example of spending significant time in prayer and fasting, especially before something important is going to happen or if we need to make a major decision. In the book of Exodus, when God finally freed his people from slavery in Egypt, they wandered in the desert for 40 years before entering the promised land. This time was a time of purification and helping the people to have the right spirit so that they could fully appreciate the good things waiting for them in the promised land. Noah spent 40 days in the ark during the time of the great flood, when God purified the earth of that which was evil. So, the idea of lent has a biblical basis, calling us to prayer, fasting, being purified of our sins and preparing us to have a heart ready to receive the graces of Easter.

Please plan on joining us for our Lenten mission on March 4-5. I have known Fr. Duy Le since he was discerning going to the seminary and have heard him speak many times. He is insightful and his passion for the Lord is contagious.

 

In Christ,


Bishop Tim Freyer




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