Father Answers Your Questions


 

Question If Ash Wednesday signifies the beginning of Lent, then why isn't is a day of holy obligation?


Answer Feast Days, or Holy Days, are days which are celebrated in commemoration of the sacred mysteries and events recorded in the history of our redemption, in memory of the Virgin Mother of Christ, or of His apostles, martyrs, and saints, by special services and rest from work.  A feast not only commemorates an event or person, but also serves to excite the spiritual life by reminding us of the event it commemorates.

At certain hours Jesus Christ invites us to His vineyard (Matthew 20:1-15); He is born in our hearts at Christmas; on Good Friday we nail ourselves to the cross with Him; at Easter we rise from the tomb of sin; and at Pentecost we receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost.  Every religion has its feasts, but none has such a rich and judiciously constructed system of festive seasons as the Catholic Church.  The succession of these seasons form the ecclesiastical year, in which the feasts of Our Lord form the ground and framework, the feasts of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints the ornamental tracery. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent it does not commemorate any special event of our Lord, the Blessed Mother or the saints.

Deacon Ray

St. Patrick's Church at Moody Air Force Base