Wednesday March 1, 2017 Ashes

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. Matthew 27:51-53

When Jesus died on the cross several things happened, the sky went dark, the earth quaked, the curtain was torn in the temple and saints who had been dead were raised and walked the earth again.  From their ashes, they came to proclaim Him who was crucified to be the Son of God.  Today as we step forward to receive ashes we hear “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  Just like in the case of the saints who were resurrected at Jesus Resurrection, we know we will rise again to be with Him.  Being an Easter people is a blessing because the end of the story is already written and known by us.

Lent is a time of recalling and reconciling, doing penance and uniting with the holy part of our soul that lives in each one of us.  God invites a reunion with Him and from the ashes will create new birth in the spirit.  But the ashes are the gateway, the symbol that allows entrance to the gym where the preparations for the race that lies ahead will happen.

New strengths are gained by the exercises of fasting, abstinence, and almsgiving. Almsgiving helps me to purge myself of the longing for material things, fasting builds my stamina for the long course and abstaining helps me prioritize what is truly important.  Each of these disciplines will help me achieve my true goal.  To be reunited with Jesus on Easter morning is my ultimate treasure.

Lord, I am dust and ashes.  Thank You for loving me so much!  The gift of Your son to free me from my sins will always be the highest sacrifice.  Help me to make a Great Lent and to never forget that the ashes call me to be more for You!    

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