It’s that time of year again.
Ash Wednesday looms. Lent approaches.
And when I say that, I’m sure everyone is like, “Yippee! Penance!”
No one really likes self-denial. Although, can you really call giving up chocolate for 40 days (not including Sundays) suffering? There’s people in the world that don’t eat for days. Lent is not hardship.
But a strange thing will happen soon…at least it’s strange to me.
People will go to Ash Wednesday Mass. In droves! They will pack the churches. You don’t think that’s strange? They don’t have to go. Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation. You’ll never see crowds packing the church for the Feast of the Assumption…or even on Sundays.
All year long people complain about going to confession, giving up meat on Fridays (outside of Lent), and praying regularly. But on Ash Wednesday they fast all day, voluntarily go to Mass, and walk around with a black smudge on their foreheads like a badge of honor.
What is it about Ash Wednesday?