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  • Writer's pictureDiocese of WNC

A Lenten Message from Bishop José - 2024

Psalm 103:8–11

8 The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,

slow to anger and of great kindness.


9 He will not always accuse us,

nor will he keep his anger for ever.


10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.


11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,

so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.



Greetings, friends. As we move into the season of Lent this year, I invite you to reflect on simple ways we can take the love of God into our every day lives. Lent can sometimes feel like a lot of pressure: pressure to set limits, pressure to cut out our favorite treats, pressure to repent for all of our indulgence over the holiday season. But Lent is not about beating ourselves up or dwelling on our shortcomings. Lent is an invitation to remember the good things around us and provides us a sacred opportunity dwell instead on the heart of God’s mercy. 


I must admit that for me, I’m not quite out of the frenetic pace of the holidays. I’m still in the mindset of joyful gatherings, alleluias and spirited celebrations, and the solemnity of Lent is difficult to switch into. Yet as we get closer to spring, I find myself ready to slow down, to quiet down, and set a deliberate intention for the year ahead.  


This year, I say we keep it simple. Instead of a strict diet or lofty goal for Lent, let’s embrace the everyday joys of life by setting a Lenten intention: a simple word or phrase that captures what you want to focus on during Lent—like “grace,” “patience,” or “lead by example.” It’s not about hitting specific targets or ticking off boxes; a Lenten intention is a guiding principle that we can return to when we need a reminder of what’s important. It’s not about making grand gestures or big sacrifices; it’s about finding meaning right where we are each moment.


And just like a good song that gets better with each listen, our Lenten intention grows and evolves as we journey through the season. We can carry it with us everywhere we go, and it can begin to shape our thoughts and actions in ways that we may not even realize.


As we journey through Lent this year, I hope your intentions deepen your faith and reveal more about living authentically in God’s call to love.  


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