the Ash Wednesday
is the first day of Lent, and with the sign of the cross smeared
on our foreheads with ashes to remind us that we are dust, and
to dust we shall return.
Ash Wednesday is the gateway to the season of Lent, the season
of returning to God “with your whole heart, with fasting,
weeping, and mourning. Rend your hearts, not your garments, and
return to the Lord, your God.” (Joel 2:12-13).
Returning to God or to the right path is:
– to respond to a God who has created us in his own image and
has loved, nurtured and protected us with his eternal love, and
– to reform our lives and do our best to live our earthly lives
more fully and allowing God to transform us.
Ash Wednesday reminds us of death – the returning to dust- or
THE END of our earthly journey and THE BEGINNING of a life
Embracing this holy season of Lent is to amend and to “clean
out” our hearts so that God can pour his love into us. Our
hearts are like a cup. If the cup was filled, then there will be
no place for something new and beautiful to sprout and grow in
So as we receive ashes, let’s each NOT simply be asking God to
keep us from sin. Rather, let’s ask God to give us courage and
strength to EMPTY:
OUT of our cup of hearts, so that God can pour his mercy into us
and plant the seeds of something new and magnificent in our
“A clean heart create for me, God, renew within me a steadfast
spirit.” (Psalm 51:12).