Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fat Tuesday

It is that time of year - again - when we acknowledge and celebrate Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday is the English translation of Mardi Gras (French) - in some areas it is also known as Shrove Tuesday from the word shrive which means to confess. This is an international celebration around the world in which Christians prepare themselves for the beginning of Lent which begins tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. In some places Mardi Gras is a one day event - in others - a three day event - in others the entire period between Epiphany or Twelfth Night and Ash Wednesday. In the Belgian city of Binche the Mardi Gras festival is the most important day of the year and the high point of the Carnival of Binche. In Germany the celebration begins on November 11th at 11:00 PM at night and continues until Ash Wednesday. During these time periods people focus on celebrating life - many times to excess - as in the French Quarters in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Celebrating life is good - in John 10:10 - Jesus said the He came that we might have life and live it to the fullest. He did not say that we should gorge ourselves on sweets - rather that the sweetness of life - the presence of family and friends - the sharing of love - the spreading of forgiveness should fill our lives - that we would live full and holy lives. As we celebrate today - with our foods and friends - we celebrate life itself and prepare ourselves for tomorrow - for Ash Wednesday - for this special time in the Church year when we can strip away the excesses and focus on that which really matters - our relationship with Jesus.

Deacon Dale