ASK FATHER: Does Lent really have 40 days? How does that add up?

Posted March 11, 2019 11:01 am by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

ASK FATHER: Does Lent really have 40 days?  How does that add up?

From a reader…
QUAERITUR:
Father, sorry for the possibly silly question, but adding up the days from Ash Wednesday to the Lord’s Supper Mass, excluding, it does not add up to 40 if we exclude Sundays as memorials of the Resurrection, but 39 instead. So, how do we count Lenten days?
First of all, 40 is an important symbolic number in Scripture. Hence, the season is associated with Biblical “40s”.
40 shows up many times in Scripture, usually concerning a period of testing.  For example, when God flooded the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. After killing an Egyptian, Moses spent 40 years

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