Ash Wednesday and Beyond

Recently my family and I were wondering why only certain days of Lent have names such as Ash Wednesday or Holy Thursday. We had heard that in the Eastern Churches, Lent begins with a day called Clean Monday. That made us decide to come up with names for every day of Lent (usually based on the Gospel for the day). Having a name for each day gives it a special focus. These are the names we came up with for all the days. Below the names are a few reflections.

  • Ash Wednesday
  • Profit Thursday
  • Fast Friday
  • Banquet Saturday
  • Angel Sunday (1st Sunday of Lent)
  • Sheep Monday
  • Our Father Tuesday
  • Sign Wednesday
  • Ask Thursday
  • Altar Friday
  • Perfect Saturday
  • Transfiguration Sunday (2nd Sunday of Lent)
  • Measure Monday
  • Humble Tuesday
  • Zebedee Wednesday
  • Lazarus Thursday
  • Vineyard Friday
  • Prodigal Saturday
  • Well Sunday (3rd Sunday of Lent)
  • Naaman Monday
  • 77 Tuesday
  • Teaching Wednesday
  • Division Thursday
  • Greatest Friday
  • Publican Saturday
  • Rejoice Sunday (4th Sunday of Lent)
  • 1 o’clock Monday
  • Sheep-gate Tuesday
  • Work Wednesday
  • Testify Thursday
  • Knowledge Friday
  • Nicodemus Saturday
  • Lazarus Sunday (5th Sunday of Lent)
  • Light Monday
  • Name Tuesday
  • Free Wednesday
  • Abraham Thursday
  • Consecration Friday
  • Ephraim Saturday
  • Palm Sunday
  • Clean Monday
  • Oil Tuesday
  • Giving Wednesday
  • Holy Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • Holy Saturday
  • Easter Sunday

Ephraim Saturday

Perhaps I should have called this Unity Saturday, since the readings are all about the mission of Jesus to gather all those who are scattered back into one family. But I chose Ephraim for a particular reason and the name fits well with the idea of unity. Ephraim was the grandson of Jacob and the second son of Joseph. The name Ephraim came to symbolize the northern or lost tribes of Israel. There are many passages in the Old Testament which speak of God yearning for the return of Ephraim. He longs to gather the tribes that had been scattered back to himself. Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 31:20

One o’clock Monday

Jesus has entered into our time. That means that he is present at every moment. But we are often not present at every moment in our own lives. If we were, we would meet Jesus constantly. Instead sometimes we only become present when something amazing happens and we notice that it is one o’clock and Jesus is there.

77 Tuesday

Jesus & Peter
Stained glass window from Lille Cathedral. Lawrence OP/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

To many of us, numbers are just numbers. We know what we mean when we say seven or 77. But in the Bible, numbers also have meanings. Seven signifies perfection. So if we look at the conversation between Jesus and Peter about forgiveness and translate the numbers that they use, it’s as if Peter said, “How many times do I have to forgive? Perfectly?” And Jesus replied,” Perfectly perfectly perfectly perfectly perfectly perfectly perfectly perfectly perfectly perfectly perfectly!” There is no stinginess in the forgiveness of God and there should be no stinginess in the forgiveness we have for others.

Zebedee Wednesday

Zebedee Wednesday calls on us to make a choice. James and John had been called by Jesus to leave everything and follow him. On that day, they left their possessions, their livelihood and even their father Zebedee. But today, we will see that they haven’t left their own will, their own desires, their own striving for success. For the Christian, every day needs to be a Zebedee day—a day for listening to what Jesus is calling you to abandon for love of him.

Perfect Saturday

What would a perfect Saturday look like for you? Probably we all have an image of what that would be. But what does a perfect Saturday look like for Jesus? Laying silently in the tomb after he has perfectly fulfilled his Father’s will, after he has made the perfect sacrifice of his love for us. Every day was a perfect day for Jesus because he loved and obeyed at every moment. Every day is a chance for us to have a perfect day of loving obedience, too. “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”

Angel Sunday

I call the First Sunday of Lent Angel Sunday because in all three temptation accounts angels are mentioned. And this gives us great hope as we begin Lent. Temptations are certainly present but angels are also present. Angels symbolize the nearness of God and his care for us. If God is with us, we can be victorious over all temptations.

Profit Thursday

Louis de Montfort said that a store is run in order to make a profit on every sale. Therefore we should live our lives intending to make a profit (spiritual benefit) on everything that we do. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?