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Fr. James Murphy, CSB Reflection On The Season of Lent – Houston, TX.

March 1, 2024

We are all in the race!

I have often compared the season of Lent to a Marathon. It can be a long arduous journey with hills to climb and a goal to be reached. In a marathon you can tell who the runners are because they wear a bib with a number on it.  Other runners who they are competing with and spectators know who to cheer on and support until the finish line is crossed.

For Lent, instead of a number, we put ashes on our forehead to let people know that we are participating in the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday often puts a smile on my face when I see so many people in public with ashes. There are often a Catholics on TV that day who have clearly been to church. It’s comforting to know that so many are in this Spiritual Marathon with us.

While I’ve never run a marathon, I have raced in 5 and 10k runs. I was a runner in high school and college, and I can say without hesitation that running is easier when you have others to join you in the race. The same is true in Lent. I am always encouraged when I see others proudly wearing there ashes, but sadly, after Ash Wednesday it is hard to tell who is still in the race. Foreheads have been washed clean and I no longer know exactly who is in the race with me. Maybe if we treat everyone as if they are in the race, they will recognize the same in us. Be my care, love, and support for others, it will be clear that I am preparing for glory of Easter.

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