Can someone explain lent for me? Like all the different days we have like ash Wednesday and palm Sunday, why we fast from meat and how to support these from scripture incase a non-catholic asks?
Lent is when we enter into the desert with The Lord for forty days. We acknowledge that we have failed to love God to the extent we should. It is a time for prayer, reflection, penance, fasting and reconciliation.
Jimmy Akin annually re-posts an article on Lent:
It contains answers to probably any question someone might think to ask.
“Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God.” Joel 2:12-13
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
“And WHEN you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." Mt 6:16-18
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple” Mt 4:1-25
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?” Is 58:6-7
“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.” Dan 9:3
“No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Lk 13:3
“On the next day, when the great crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,they took palm branches* and went out to meet him, and cried out:
“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” John 12:12-13 (This is why we have Palm Sunday)
Here is a link that talks about the history of Ash Wednesday. I like that it points out that as much as we are to think of repentance at this time, it is also about remembering the promises of our baptism. This is linked with Christ’s death and resurrection, because in baptism we die with Him and are raised to new life. Thanks Joe, for posting the link to Jimmy’s article!