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America StaffFebruary 16, 2021
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Didn’t the past year feel like one, long season of Lent? Do we really need to observe Lent 2021? At America, we get it. That’s why we’re offering all new Lenten reflections each week to accompany you through this difficult period. Journey with America’s editors as they reflect on Scripture, prayer, fasting and almsgiving both in written form and on “The Word” podcast.

This page will be populated throughout the duration of Lent. Subscribe to “The Word” in Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast player and never miss a reflection. You can also sign up for America’s daily newsletter to receive the written versions every day in your inbox.

Latest ReflectionThis Lent, remember that the key to God’s forgiveness is to forgive others

Before Ash Wednesday:
What America’s editors are giving up (or taking on) this year
‘Haven’t we been living in Lent since last year?’ What America’s readers are doing this year

Ash Wednesday:
James Martin, S.J.: On Ash Wednesday, remember ashes are a symbol. The goal is transformation.
Terrance Klein: Why we need to hear the reminder ‘you are dust’ every year on Ash Wednesday
Imagine Lent Podcast Ep.1: Accompany Jesus at a vulnerable moment in the desert

Week 1 of Lent:
Jeremy McLennan: Catholics and Muslims: Who is really better at fasting and prayer?
Sunday Reflection by Jaime Waters: God loves all of creation. We should too. 
Monday Reflection by Sebastian Gomes: Saint Peter’s flaws are a reminder that God loves us just as we are 
Wednesday Reflection by Sebastian Gomes: Jesus warns against an ‘us versus them’ attitude. We should give it up this Lent.
Imagine Lent Podcast Ep.2: Watch Jesus call (and heal) Peter

Week 2 of Lent:
James Martin, S.J.: Want a better prayer life this Lent? Start by being honest with God about everything. (Yes, everything.)
Sunday Reflection by Jaime Waters: Lent reminds us we are not alone in our quest for understanding
Monday Reflection by Ashley McKinless: This Lent, remember that the key to God’s forgiveness is to forgive others
Wednesday Reflection by Ashley McKinless: Use this time of Lent to reorient yourself towards serving others
Imagine Lent Podcast Ep.3: Jesus heals a paralytic

Week 3 of Lent
America Staff: Tired of cheese pizza and fish sticks? 10 Lent recipes for no-meat Fridays
Sunday Reflection by Jaime Waters: People in Jesus’ time faced the challenge of diverse viewpoints, too.
Monday Reflection by Matt Malone, S.J.: Every human heart contains an infinite desire for God. What does that mean in a finite world?
Wednesday Reflection by Matt Malone, S.J.: For Catholics, it isn’t enough to just know and follow the rules.
Imagine Lent Podcast Ep. 4: Will the woman caught in adultery be condemned or shown mercy?

Week 4 of Lent
Sunday Reflection by Jaime Waters: Shrouded in darkness, we can do evil. Jesus invites us into the light of truth instead.
Monday Reflection by Kerry Weber: It might be cliché, but Jesus really is there with us for good times and bad. Let’s embrace it.
Wednesday Reflection by Kerry Weber: We all love our independence—but none of us get there on our own.
Imagine Lent Podcast Ep. 5: Witness Christ heal the blind man

Week 5 of Lent
Sunday Reflection by Jaime Waters: Look for the angels in the desert of your soul
Monday Reflection by J.D. Long-Garcia: Women were oppressed in Jesus’ time, too. How much longer will we stand by?
Wednesday Reflection by J.D. Long-Garcia: The freedom that Óscar Romero found in Jesus
Imagine Lent Podcast Ep. 6: The Woman with a Hemorrhage

Holy Week
Palm Sunday Reflection by Jaime Waters: Jesus died—and then rose—so you could walk together
Monday Reflection by Colleen Dulle: God lives in our traditions. Keeping them is a form of prayer.
Wednesday Reflection by Colleen Dulle: Don’t place a price on other people’s lives. That’s what Judas did.
Imagine Lent Podcast Ep. 7: Agony in the Garden and Peter’s Denial
Imagine Lent Podcast Final Episode: Jesus Appears by the Sea and Heals Peter
Easter Reflection by Fr. James Martin, SJ

Essential Lent Reading: 

Check back each week for new reflections

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U.S. Catholic bishops expressed sorrow and called out racism and gun violence after a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York was motivated by racial hatred.
A girl poses for a photo in the living room at her orphanage in Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 10, 2021. Researchers estimate that 7.5 million children have been orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of orphaned children jumped 90 percent during delta variant surge. (CNS photo/Jorge Silva, Reuters)
Researchers report that pandemic-associated orphanhood and caregiver loss are increasing at an unparalleled speed.
Kevin ClarkeMay 16, 2022
Israeli police confront mourners as they carry the casket of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during her funeral in east Jerusalem, Friday, May 13, 2022.
Shireen Abu Akleh—a Palestinian-American, a Catholic and a 25-year veteran of Al Jazeera’s satellite channel—was shot Wednesday while covering an Israeli military raid in the Jenin refugee camp.
At times, by over-emphasizing our efforts to do good works, we have created an ideal of holiness excessively based on ourselves.
Pope FrancisMay 15, 2022