Lent. Is it over yet?

Lent?  Not a big fan of this season, even though I’m very fond of purple, love soup and rarely pass up opportunities to ponder great mysteries. During Lent I am, as they say in some circles, “restless, irritable and discontent.”  Please know that this not from giving up chocolate. I never renounce stuff like chocolate. I go for bigger challenges like giving up gossip or vengeance.

Absent from Lent is all the cozy joyful waiting that makes Advent my happy place at any time of the liturgical year. Present during Lent are readings that generate butterflies in my stomach — not in a good way at all.

I twitch whenever I hear John’s bad news about “the Jews” proclaimed from the ambo. I’m pretty sure I will never get used to hearing this and don’t think I should.  I’ve toyed with the idea of jumping up during one of these readings and yelling, “Jews? Wrong! Epic fail!” as if I were an outraged GenY who has studied history.  I never succumb to this fantasy of making a fuss during Mass. Instead, I typically turn my attention to plaques depicting the Stations of the Cross and focus on “the women.”

Challenging season, Lent. I die bit-by-bit with each passing day. This, in turn, generates the aforementioned restlessness, irritability and discontentment until I remember that’s kind of the point. I believe in the Resurrection. Thanks be to God.

About Meredith Gould 32 Articles
Meredith Gould, PhD, is the author of seven books, including The Catholic Home: Celebrations and Traditions for Holidays, Feast Days, and Every Day, Why Is There a Menorah on the Altar? Jewish Roots of Christian Worship, and The Word Made Fresh: Communicating Church and Faith Today. She serves on the team at The Virtual Abbey and founded the Twitter chat for church social media (#chsocm).

6 Comments on Lent. Is it over yet?

  1. I strongly dislike (that’s the strongest way I can say what I feel without putting in expletives) the way Christians have taken the anti-Semetic language in John’s gospel and run (in the wrong directions) with it.

    Since the Pope has recently written about all Jews for all time and eternity not being responsible for the death of Jesus, (gosh. thanks.) I think it is high time to change the language in those passages that get read every Holy Week. Explaining in homilies does not seem to do the

    trick to those in the pews.

    I have been part of a group of married Jewish men (one of them Orthodox) who study the Torah portion each Sabbath. Because of my time with them, I think my aversion to the unexplained, poorly explained anti Semitic languages in the gospels that I love only increases…

  2. Wow, Matt. Way to not listen. Not to mention that your description of Lent isn’t much different than the book titles in the self-help section of Barnes and Noble.

    People just need to translate “religious authorities” for “Jews” in John.

  3. I love Lent! It’s a time to eat healthier, to get rid of all kinds of clutter, to lose some winter weight, to be free from addictions & bad habits and to get closer to God. It’s a wonderful time of year that I look forward to each year. Is the chalice half empty or half full? You make the choice!

    • Yep, good stuff to love. Please reread my post, Matt. It’s about the anti-Jewish language in John’s Gospel wherein “the authorities” is mistranslated as “the Jews.” Now can you see why the chalice has been knocked over?

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