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Archbishop Gomez marks the start of Lent

Archbishop Gomez marks the start of Lent With a message to “Go Further” in our faith

— His message reaches millions of faithful throughout the Archdiocese of L.A., as they prepare for Ash Wednesday, a time of contemplation and renewal leading to Holy Week —

In his weekly column, “For this early Lent, be converted and ‘go further”, published in the archdiocesan multimedia publication Angelus News, Archbishop José H. Gomez urges the faithful to use this upcoming Lent season to be open to change, to transformation, and to use this new opportunity to “go further” in their personal conversion to Christ to become the people that God wants us to be. The message arrives early this year as Lent begins on February 14, when Catholics in the tri-county Archdiocese of Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties) and around the world prepare to celebrate Ash Wednesday Masses, marking the beginning of Lent, a time of contemplation and renewal, which leads to Holy Week.

“The Church gives us this season of grace each year as a privileged moment to concentrate on our spiritual lives, and to really work on making progress in our ongoing conversion to Christ,” said Archbishop Gomez. “Let’s not miss this beautiful opportunity that we have, to grow in our relationship with Jesus, to improve ourselves, to be converted more and more in the image of Jesus! This is what our life is meant for. We are here to be changed, to be transformed, to be converted. If we think we have done enough already, we are lost. Go further, keep going. Don’t stay in the same place, don’t go back, don’t go off the road,” says Archbishop Gomez, citing St. Augustine.

“This is why Jesus gave his life for us on the cross. So that we could be set free. Free to follow him, and free to live as he intends us to live, according to his teachings and his example,” continued Archbishop Gomez.

For Catholics, with Ash Wednesday starts a time of prayer, penance, and reflection – the pillars of Lent. This is a time meant to strengthen their identity as children of God and followers of Jesus.

The Archdiocese has created a special webpage for the faithful, which includes daily Lenten reflections, prayers, and resources for almsgiving and service.