Mass Readings: Isaiah 58:1-9a/ Matthew 9:14-15

Avoiding Lenten ‘Work-Arounds’

Today’s first reading about “acceptable” fasts brought to mind a Lenten Friday some 40 years ago. A classmate and I decided to go out to dinner and, knowing we couldn’t have our usual fast-food burgers, ended up at a fairly nice seafood restaurant. (One that was really nice for two college guys.) I don’t remember what I ordered but I have no doubt it was a lot better than a Big Mac.

There’s some wiggle room in Lenten regulations and traditions. (Turning 59 can almost seem like getting the “senior discount.”) But . . . if I look only for exceptions, if I scheme to make these 40 days as closely as possible to the other 325 days of the year, then I’m wasting an opportunity. Daily opportunities.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me make this a good Lent.