Tomorrow Lent will begin. It traditionally starts on a Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) and is a day of reconciliation and prayer. On this day a forty day fast begins as we move closer to Easter Sunday. But today is not Wednesday. It is the Tuesday before Lent, also known as Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, and occasionally Pancake Tuesday. It is the last day of feasting before the fast begins and often marked by celebration. So the question today is: What will you be doing on this Tuesday before lent?
Here is a brief look into the lives of two Maryknoll Lay Missioners and the unexpected way they spent their Tuesday before lent:
“On the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, we were awoken by repeated firecrackers popping throughout the area. By mid-morning, a dozen local children took us under wing and instructed us on how to perform the Andean annual ritual of blessing, or Ch’alling our house, complete with many balloons & streamers, tossing flower petals and confetti on our roof, and offering prayers to God of thanksgiving for the past year’s blessings and petitions for the year to come. Looking back on the past year, we give thanks for the love and support of you, our family and friends back home! Peace & Prayers”
Maryknoll Lay Missioners in La Paz, Bolivia, March 2001