Ash Wednesday. To the unknowing observer, it’s a day when all church-going Catholics receive a smear of black placed on their forehead. True, it might be an unusual sight to see someone walking around with this mark if you don’t know what it is. Well, what is it all about?
“You are dust, and to dust you shall return,” says the wisdom author of Ecclesiastes. And each priest repeats these words to the penitent coming forward to receive ashes on this first day of the season of Lent. It is a day to remember our mortal humanity in light of God’s divinity; reflecting on this alone is enough to begin a humble return to the service of our Lord.
Many have remarked that Lent is their favorite liturgical season. Perhaps this is a reflection of our true vocation more fully lived in these blessed forty days, for it is an occasion to be fully alive in Christ. May this holy season be a springboard for more authentic Christian living all year round!