Skip to comments.Ash (or Clean) Monday - Lent Begins (for some Catholics) - February 20, 2012
Posted on 02/20/2012 9:54:00 AM PST by NYer
Miracle of Cana in Galilee
SUNDAY of Entrance to Great Lent
I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; still, it is unclean for someone who thinks it unclean. If your brother is being hurt by what you eat, your conduct is no longer in accord with love. Do not because of your food destroy him for whom Christ died. So do not let your good be reviled. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Spirit; whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others. Let us then pursue what leads to peace and to building up one another. For the sake of food, do not destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to become a stumbling block by eating; it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. Keep the faith (that) you have to yourself in the presence of God; blessed is the one who does not condemn himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because this is not from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin. Praise be to God always.
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." (And) Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you." Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, "Fill the jars with water." So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter." So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him. This is the Truth. Peace be with you.
The First Week of Lent
2 Corinthians 5:20-6:7
So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him. Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says: "In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you." Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We cause no one to stumble in anything, in order that no fault may be found with our ministry; on the contrary, in everything we commend ourselves as ministers of God, through much endurance, in afflictions, hardships, constraints, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, in a holy spirit, in unfeigned love, in truthful speech, in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness at the right and at the left. Praise be to God always.
"When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you. "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. This is the Truth. Peace be with you.
Christians familiar only with the Christian West may be surprised to learn that Ash Wednesday and its customs exist only in the Western church. The Eastern churches have other ways of counting the days of Lent, and of beginning this Great Fast.
The Roman Catholic Church counts Holy Week as part of the Lenten Fast, but not the Sundays during the Lenten season. Therefore, in about the 8th Century, it was necessary to add four days to the beginning of Lent to bring the number of days up to the traditional 40. This was the origin of Ash Wednesday.
The Eastern Christian Churches (both Catholic and Orthodox) consider Great and Holy Week as a separate unit with its own Fasting and Abstinence requirements, not technically included in the Great Lent. Lent liturgically concludes on the evening of the 6th Friday of Great Lent, the vigil of Lazarus Saturday. Although we do not fast (restrict the amount of food eaten) on Saturdays and Sundays, we do continue to abstain from certain kinds of foods on the Weekends of Lent. The Saturdays & Sundays of the Great Fast are counted in the total of days, thus bringing the number up to 40, counted from Clean Monday, the first day of Great Lent.
The Eastern traditions make a lot of sense, particularly re: weekend fasting during Lent.
Meanwhile, even now Western followers load up on as much sinfulness as possible before the Wednesday “deadline”... ;|
Also in the western Lenten observance, also got to take into consideration that the Lenten observence goes into part of Holy Week, ending at sundown on Holy Thursday, than the Easter Tridium begins.