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Why do we celebrate Lent?

Have any of y’all asked that question (possibly as you smell the Chick-fil-a biscuits from across the street as you’re walking into Ash Wednesday Mass)? Lent is something that has become a sort of cultural event for Catholics; a part of us looks forward to receiving our ashes, enjoying a wonderful Fish Fry, or casually asking our friends and family “so what are you giving up this year for Lent?” The question remains, why do we celebrate Lent? We celebrate Lent because we are called to imitate Our Lord Jesus Christ in all things. Jesus went into the desert for forty days to fast and to pray, because he took on human flesh experiencing all but sin (c.f. Hebrews 4:15) he felt the pains of hunger and the realities of temptation preparing himself for his own passion and death. Just as Jesus went into the desert we also go into the desert of Lent to strip away from us all temptations and desires of the flesh, to put him first in our lives, to experience the loving embrace of the Father, and to ensure that we are prepared to receive all of the graces of the Easter season.

In Christ Crucified,

Seminarian Sean Lee