Ash Wednesday

Come back to the Lord with all your heart; leave the past in ashes, and turn to God with tears and fasting, for he is slow to anger and ready to forgive. (Joal 2:13)


Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent; the smudge on the forehead, the sign of the ashes. The liturgy invites us to what must appear to the sleek, gleaming technological world as something odd in the extreme – a liberation of heart that comes about not just by “receiving the ashes” but by accepting ourselves as being “dust and ashes”.

Dust and ashes are immemorial symbols of our human fate.  Ash Wednesday invites us to reclaim the lost ground, our earthy insignificance; to come back to earth; to refuse to be gods or supermen, to be HUMILES, ‘humble’, on the level of the dust human, HUMANI – of the earth, “for out of it you were taken; you are dust and to dust you shall return (Genesis 19). 

– Tony Kelly C.Ss.R.

3 Responses to “Ash Wednesday”

  1. Linda Lukitari Says:

    ash wednesday

  2. Esther Leleszi White Says:

    Ash Wednesday starting the season of Lent

  3. Tsungai Masendeke Says:

    help me leave my past in the ashes, want to be like you Lord

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