Wednesday, February 14th is Ash Wednesday. Even though it is also Valentine’s Day, it is a day of fast and abstinence this year. I would encourage you to schedule your Valentine events for either Tuesday, February 13th or Thursday, February 15th.
The scripture readings for Lenten Masses are some of the most ancient texts of the Church, many of them dating for their use to the second century.
In particular, the Gospel readings for the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent are particularly significant. They are taken from the Gospel according to John and are directly connected to the Sacrament of Baptism celebrated at the Easter Feast.
They focus on three facets of the rite of Baptism.
The third Sunday of Lent features the dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. The theme of the reading is “Water” – living water, water that never fails, water “that wells up within to eternal life.”
The fourth Sunday of Lent features the story of the cure of the Man Born Blind. The theme is “Light” – the light which banishes inner darkness, the light of faith, the light that enlightens all who believe.
The fifth Sunday of Lent features the story of the raising of Lazarus. The theme is “Life” – the life that overcomes the last great enemy, death.
These three themes are central to the Church’s understanding of Baptism and are important for us as we come through Lent to the renewal of our own baptism.
Fr. Steve Adrian