Ash Wednesday and Sundays in Lent 2023

lent-2-heartlargeAsh Wednesday, the first day of the penitential season of Lent in the Catholic Church, is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. It is a “movable” feast that is assigned a date in the calendar only after the date of Easter Sunday is calculated. How is it calculated? I’m glad you asked.

According to the norms established by the Council of Nicaea (325 AD) and later adopted for Western Christianity at the Synod of Whitby, Easter Sunday falls each year on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. This year the vernal equinox falls on March 20, 2023 and the first full moon after that occurs on Thursday, April 6th. Therefore, Easter Sunday is celebrated this year on April 9th. If you want to know the date of Ash Wednesday, just count backwards 46 days and you get February 22nd. Continue reading


This coming Sunday is the First Sunday in Lent for Lectionary Cycle A. From the 4th Sunday to the 9th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Sunday gospels include most of the “Sermon on the Mount” (Mt 5:1-7:29)  On the first Sunday in Lent, the traditional reading reverts to several chapter earlier – Mt 4 – to consider “the tempting of Christ in the dessert.”  This was preceded by the account of the baptism of Jesus which revealed him as the Son of God: “And a voice came from the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’ ” (Mt 3:17). Following the temptation, Jesus begins his public ministry in Galilee staring at Mt 4:12 Continue reading