Why is Lent 40 Days?

The number 40 has symbolic meaning.  A period of 40 years/days, more than being a literal measurement, represents a long time and period of preparation or testing.  When 40 years or 40 days have passed, this is seen of a substantial time for the working of God’s grace to enter our lives.  Recall the 40 days and nights of rain during the flood in Genesis 7, the 40 years that the Israelites wondered in the Desert after Exodus and the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Lent lasts 40 days so that we will spend an appropriate time of this period in penance and preparation before Easter. The 40 day Lenten season is our wilderness, our time for introspection and voice of the faithful has prepared several lent reflections.