Lent: Mercy Over the Law
Lent Reflection
Father Jhakson Garcia, Parochial Vicar, Church of Holy Apostles, McHenry
February 16, 2023
Lent is a liturgical season that is repeated every year, and it is the path that every Christian takes to return to God.  
It is a journey made by both the powerful and the lowly; it is the process carried out by the one who considers himself perfect and the one who recognizes himself as a sinner.
The key of this time is “mercy.”
On our path, we search for mercy. We begin our conversion process and return to God to establish our future way of life. 
This time is also a walk towards healing, where the sinner is not only healed, but also raised by God and not humiliated by his sins.
Lent Regulations for Fast and Abstinence 
Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22, and Good Friday, April 7, are days for fast and abstinence. All Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.
Fasting is to be observed by all Catholics, 18 years of age and older, who have not yet celebrated their 59th birthday. On a fast day, one full meal is allowed. Two other meals may be taken according to one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and juices, are allowed.
Abstinence is observed by all Catholics 14 years of age and older. On days of abstinence no meat is allowed. Note that when health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige. When in doubt, the parish priest should be consulted. (Code of Canon Law, canons 1251-1252) 
No one can say: "I am not a sinner" or "I have not made a mistake." For this reason, Lent is an invitation that is made to every Christian to achieve conversion.
Additionally, this is a time of opportunity and not of condemnation, where God's mercy must prevail and not the law of man. 
In some passages of the Gospel we are told that many are good at applying the law and forgetting about man, but the novelty of Jesus stands out in how He applies mercy in redeeming the human being.
At all times Jesus chooses mercy over the law. Let us think of the passage of the adulterous woman (Jn. 8:1-11). She was caught committing sin, but He did not condemn or humiliate her. Jesus’ attitude was different from those who asked to apply the law: He raised her up. His mercy was above any law, because His love for the human being is greater.
When we open ourselves to the practice of God's love and mercy, we become similar to Him, and thus our faith and Lenten journey take on a new and better meaning.
Shop Religious items at HOLYART.COM