Ashes, call to repentance signify start of Lent

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Renewing a relationship with the Lord is the top priority for those embarking on their Lenten journeys said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge in his homily addressed to the more than 200 gathered for Mass on Ash Wednesday at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington March 6. 

“This is a joyful season in which we are invited to return to the Lord our God with all of our heart. May he sustain you in his love throughout this sacred season and always,” Burbidge said.

He expounded on the three traditional ways for the faithful to return to the Lord: prayer at the beginning and end of the day; fasting, including from social media; and almsgiving, especially by being mindful “of those in your midst each day — parents, children, your spouse, and friends — those who need your time, your attention and maybe even your forgiveness.”

Soon after receiving ashes on his forehead, Bishop Burbidge along with Father Robert J. Rippy, rector, Father Christopher P. Christensen, parochial vicar, Father Michael C. Isenberg, vocations director, and others distributed ashes to those in the cathedral.

Monica Sanchez, a Mass attendee who works nearby at the Foreign Service Institute, intends to focus more on prayer as Bishop Burbidge advised.

“I thought his suggestion of making more time for prayer, especially in the morning and the evening, is something that I am going to try and do, in addition to fulfilling my Lenten fasting,” Sanchez said.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019