Audio version
Voiced by Amazon Polly

He said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report.

Here we are. Pre-Lent. Septuagesima, a time vitally important for our own good, the benefit of our souls, and the attainment of the graces we need to enter Lent head on.

As many of you know, I love to cook. One YouTube channel I regularly watch is Chef Jean Pierre. He’s been around awhile, used to have a PBS show, was on the major networks, owned a restaurant, and had a cooking school. He transitioned from the cooking school to teaching videos. He is also quite funny.

In any event, one key thing he continually reminds his viewers about (including – the onion is always number one) is the ‘mise en place.’ Literally, it is the preparatory stage of getting everything together, pre-preparation for the cooking.

Let’s say you were making a stew or soup. You would pre-cut the meats and vegetables and array them before you along with the herbs, spices, liquids, and anything else you need. You wouldn’t turn on the burners until everything was in place, mise en place.

Believe me, learning this tip saved me tons of aggravation (where is that ingredient) and burned food.

It is interesting how the ordinary things in life derive from our shared faith experience. 

Pre-Lent is our pre-prep or our mise en place for Lent. We are called to get everything ready for the Lenten journey only two-and-a-half weeks away.

Think of all the mise en place in our lives. I know I have walked into tests without pre-preparation – learned very quickly it was not a good idea. Coaches, teachers, doctors, trainers require us to pre-prepare. They learned from the Holy Church’s call to preparation for Lent, the most vital of times for our souls.

Brothers, sisters, our soul is the most important thing we carry within us, for from it – when it is aligned with God – flows every good thing. So today, we are called to get ready, to put all in place for the good of our everlasting souls during the Great Lent.

Let us resolve to meet Ash Wednesday head-on, prepared and ready to go.