Today is the start of the Lenten season, and I think that this is the earliest Ash Wednesday I can remember. This year holds the earliest Holy Week too — with Holy Monday falling on my birthday. I have mixed thoughts on that, but let me get back at that later. :)
Earlier today I heard mass with some officemates and I was amazed at how many people heard mass today — the usually not-so-full chapel overflowed outside, all the way to the street. I remember my dad and I joking about how the church is filled to overflowing during Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve mass, and suddenly we realize how many people really live in the village. Only in the Philippines. ;) But it’s nice to see the chapel overflowing with people; it gives me hope that people still care.
I was listening to Lifeteen‘s Lent Overview podcast earlier and Mark Hart mentioned how he used to not like Lent as much as he liked Advent when he was a kid, because Lent means sacrificing a lot of things, and it always happens to be Friday whenever he wanted to eat the most meat. I have to admit that I used to think the same thing. I hated how during Holy Week, there’s nothing to watch on TV. I hated how we all have to be inside and stay inside and be forced to attend masses, go through the entire Bisita Iglesia in the heat of summer. I was happy when Easter rolls by because that means I can finally eat normally, and there’s no somber mood around the place.
It was only recently that I started to appreciate the entire season, and that’s what I plan to impart to you for the next few weeks until we reach the “climax”. I think this is really something we should take time to reflect on. :) You don’t have to be a real estate agent or a priest or a really “holy” person to appreciate this season.
In the meantime, here’s the podcast I mentioned earlier for your listening pleasure. :)[audio:lent-overview.mp3]
If you haven’t heard mass yet, there’s still time! I’m sure there’s another one (or two) masses before this day ends. And I’m also inviting you to join the 40 days of prayer and fasting led by Bo Sanchez. Click on the link for more details. :)