Are Fridays Different?

March 18, 2022

Are Fridays in Lent any different for you than Fridays during the rest of the year? Like many Catholics my age or older, Fridays in Lent conjure images of fish sticks for dinner. Since I’m a vegetarian now, I can sometimes go an entire Lenten season without thinking about the value behind the call to go meatless.

If the point of skipping meat on Fridays is to be in solidarity with the billions of poor around the world who don’t have the privilege of eating meat regularly, there must be something else I can do to be in solidarity with them. If the point is to give the money I would have spent on meat to the poor instead, I can still do that. In fact, there’s a homeless man named Kevin who lives not too far from me who would be happy for me to start showing up with a meal for him every Friday. If the point of giving up meat is to jar myself out of the ordinary to be more thoughtful and grateful about the privilege I have to eat three meals a day, well, I should be able to do that another way too.    

For reflection: Are you more thoughtful about what you eat on Fridays? What invitation is behind the teaching for you about abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent?

To Pray: Gracious God, thank you for the food you provide. May I always remember many people in the world have less than me.