Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Mardi Gras. It means "Fat Tuesday". As we begin Lent (time of prayer and fasting in readiness to celebrate Easter) on Ash Wednesday many people of many cultures celebrate the day before, the week before or even months. They celebrate by doing the opposite of fasting, and that would be throwing a big party and doing things that probably are rather morally ambiguous. It used to be that it was a religious festival celebrating a time of preparation and it has now has turned into just another spring break. Some cities and states actually have declared it a holiday. The town shuts down and people have parades and festivals. While many of us consider what we are giving up for Lent, this is the last day to indulge in those things. So if you are giving up coffee, well, drink some coffee. If you are giving up eating at your favorite restaurant, then go eat there. If you have chosen to give up numerous other things as well, try and enjoy the day. Lent is not a time of saddness, no it's a time of prayerful fasting where we better identify with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Fasting is not just supposed to be done during Lent, but it's a good time to remind ourselves of the Christian walk we are all on. Oh, if you don't fast during Lent and you participate in the Mardi Gras activities, then you are just go to another party and the significance of the day is completely lost. So today is the last day before Lent and hopefully you have already decided what you are going to give up, and maybe what you might take on during Lent. Go in peace and go with God.