As I write this short reflection I look back to the experience of Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). In some parts of the world it is called Carnival (“farewell to meat”). The excessive celebration of Mardi Gras contrasts with the starkness of Ash Wednesday. One of the merriest parts of the experience is where death is depicted as an ugly devil, as a grumpy Old Man Winter or as the King of Fools. On the last night of Carnival this figure of death is tossed into a lake or chased out of the town. When death dies, Carnival comes to a quick end. Masks are removed, grease paint is wiped off, the partying eases. The past is left behind in ashes. Everything that is false or deceiving is destroyed. In Lent we are challenged to lay aside the masks we wear. Lent is about painful honesty as we realize we are all sinners. We are all less than the people we want to be. Lent is a challenge to transform our lives. In our Lenten pilgrimage may we rediscover the world not through our Carnival masks, but through the eyes of Easter faith.
Father Bob Hawkins