Wednesday 25 February 2009

Ash Wednesday: a point of what?

(Journey in a Broken World)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Besides marking the beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday, not a Holy Day of Obligation, is an important day in the liturgy (Public Worship) of the Roman Catholic Church.

Odd, or useful is a reading: one about not trumpeting good deeds in the marketplace. You see, Ash Wednesday, is the holding of the line. It is a Catholic Pride march, as well as a special day, when we gain ash on our foreheads. The ashes are made from Last year's Palm Sunday leaves. The crowds who praised Jesus with Palm leaves, turned on him, and crucified him.

Ash Wednesday, is both a statement of faith, designed to remind the world of what it once knew, and it is the holding of the line, as well as a really special day for many people. The ashes are from the palm leaves that represent the fickle loves of men. In wearing a ashen cross, on our foreheads: we show our loyalty is to God, not them. It is not the showing off of righteous deeds before men, but the rejection of men when contrary to God, the symbolic burning of their gifts. We must also, beyond wearing Ashes, also give up something for lent.

Today is Ash Wednesday. Let us wear our ashes if we do: to please God not men: therefore, let us not wipe them off, but rather show the world, through our constant-ness, that we serve a God, who unlike men: is not fickle, but constant.

So, what is the true meaning of Ash Wednesday. It is a call to penance, and contrition, and repentance to us and the world: the beginning of the Lenten Abstinence/fast. Further, from Ashes we come, from dust we come: to ashes we go, to dust we Go: it shows how easily human existence fades, or is lost.

Ash Wednesday shows our reliance on God. It says who we serve, and who serves us. Let us not be embarrassed out of it. Let us always put God first, knowing that those who do not, are not making as correct and wise a decision, for God is constant, but man is fickle, changing his heart, or dying so quickly. Our allegiance is to the constant, to God.

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