The Beginning of Reflection

Ash Wednesday, which is on March 2, is traditionally known as the beginning of Lent. The 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Holy Week are some of the most sacred for Christians. In the fourth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, 40 days is the amount of time Jesus spent alone in the desert fasting and being tempted by Satan.

As Lent begins, the faithful are traditionally called upon to commemorate Jesus’ time in the desert and walk in his footsteps. Since most people cannot literally spend 40 days in a desert, most make changes to their everyday lives. Some people promise to pray or attend Mass more often. Others fast or set aside additional time to read the Scriptures. And, of course, they give up something.

St. Luke’s of the Mountains in La Crescenta parishioner Dolores Arellano, who grew up Roman Catholic, believes giving up something during Lent makes sense only if doing so brings one closer to God.

“God wants you to be more spiritual in yourself, not in other people,” she said, while preparing the parish hall for St. Luke’s weekly post-Sunday service lunch. “I think we have to be more spiritual with God than other times and be closer to him.”

This article was first published in CVW in 2014, written by Michael J. Arvizu.