Defining the Different Purposes and Meanings behind Lent

Reasons why students at John F. Kennedy give things up for Lent

by Valeria Torres (Staff Writer) – 3/18/16

Defining the Different Purposes and Meanings behind Lent
Saying no to cake due to giving it up for Lent

Many strong believers of the Roman Catholic faith and some protestant Christians practice a period of sacrifice and repentance by giving up certain foods or activities forty days before Easter, all with a different, individual purpose.

Although the overall meaning of giving up things for Lent is to remember the sacrifice and suffering of Jesus Christ, this could be interpreted differently depending on the individual. For example, junior Rachel Hernandez admitted that, “I gave up cursing for all forty days to show some respect and grieving during this time period where Jesus Christ gave his life up for us.” In other words, many believers consider their behavior must be changed for the better during this period of Easter.

Another meaning to giving things up for Lent could be to just overall sacrifice some things that mean a lot to the person to relate to Jesus’s suffering. Senior Patience Prieto confirmed that she gave up Starbucks since it’s one of her addictions and believes that if Jesus Christ died for our sins, the least she could do is give that up at least for 40 days along with fixing her attitude and being nice to others.

Other people, however, just do it because their religions require them to do it but not because it even means anything to them. As junior Jennifer Gonzalez confessed, “The only reason why I don’t eat meat on Ash Wednesdays and Good Fridays is because my mom does not allow us to, but to me it doesn’t have much meaning to it.”

The belief of giving things up for Lent is highly criticized by some individuals as they believe giving things up for lent is worthless if the person still continues to sin by insulting other people, or even cursing, etc. Junior Luis Gutierrez mentioned that his repentance should not be reflected on what he eats or doesn’t eat but rather on how he changes those sins and becomes a better person during Easter.

Therefore, Lental sacrifice could be interpreted in a variety of different ways, whether it’s changing for the better or by dieting from certain foods. But no matter what the meaning is, the purpose behind it is all the same, to remember Jesus Christ’s sacrifices during this time and to repent for one’s sins. In other words, it’s a period of reconciliation for believers of the faith.