Today is Ash Wednesday and it is a very important day in the life of the Church and in each of our lives…
All over the United States and the world for that matter churches are full and there are lots of places where the black smug of palm ashes is more common than not.
Why do so many people come to church ? Why do so many people want Palm Ashes on their forehead ?
Why will our chapels be filled to the brim at Catholic even though it is not a holy day of obligation ?
To understand why so many people feel it is important to come to Church on the first Wednesday of Lent each year we have to analyze the two phrases which the Church recommends we use as we place the ashes on our forehead.
The first is simple…
“Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.”
So often in life we simply go through the motions, So often in life we simply move to the next task… we do the next thing in our our day and in our life.
When we are finished with Grade School we go to High School, when we are finished with High School we go to college, when we are finished with college we get a job …. Along the way we expect to meet someone.. and it goes on and on and on.
All these things seem important at the time, very important but in reality quite often we fail to ask the most important questions in life… Where is all this taking me and is it really worth it.
Is our daily routine worth all the sacrifice, are my life’s plan getting me closer to my final goal my final destiny ?
We could have all the toys in the world, all the money in the world all the power in the world but Ash Wednesday reminds us .
Remember Man that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.
People come to church on Ash Wednesday because like no other day it has the power to put our lives in perspective.
Ash Wednesday reminds us that we should be working for a treasure that lasts in heaven, because everything else even our bodies will turn to dust.
The second message of Ash Wednesday is found in the second phrase the that we can say when we place the ashes on our head
“Repent and Believe the Gospel”
All of us know that we are not perfect. All of us have a lot to work on and all of us want to be a better person.
We come to Church on Ash Wednesday because it has become kind of like our annual spiritual check up.
On Ash Wednesday all of us dare to hope a little that we can be better, more generous, more loving, more like God longs for us to be.
Thank you for coming… and I mean that sincerely
Thank you for coming especially to those who I haven’t seen for a while. The Church did not fall down when you walked in. You are welcome here no matter how big you think your sins are, no matter how long its been since you came to church, no matter what you are welcome here.
Thank you for taking the time to examine your lives.
Thank you for not giving up on yourself
God never will give up on you.
May we all try to become just a little less selfish this lent
May our Lenten practices help us all to try and love a little more.