"Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return"
We will hear these exact words from the priest as he places the sign of the cross on our forehead with the ashes.
In this moment, the words are very serious, very solemn. However,as we hear in St. Pauls' words, "see now is the acceptable time, see now is the day of salvation", these words are encouraging.
Today is the day in our lives when we can say these are acceptable times for us to change ourselves for the better.
We must not only think of Jesus' suffering and death and our own death, but we must focus on Jesus on the cross, and His message.
This time of lent is not just a time to rid ourselves of our sins but rather a time to build a relationship with Jesus.
This why the prophet Joel says to "rend your heart not your clothing".
Clothing is our sins, and our heart is the mirror of our soul.
We are not just a body we have a spirit and, today when we are called to do penance and to renew our love to God we must see how our soul looks.
Is this not a fact, that our life dictates to our soul?
The less time we have for God in our life, as St. Paul says, "the less time we have to be reconciled to Him".
When we reconcile we are open to God's love to God's will.
The moment the symbol of the cross and ashes is placed on our foreheads, we begin the time of alms giving, prayer and fasting. This means it is time to do work in ourselves, as we call to Jesus "Help us in this time of lent bring us closer to You, our families,and to each other in our Holy Family Community".
I wish for you and myself, that after this lenten season our sins and our weaknesses will be the dust, and all the good we do will be the stability on our road to heaven. The stability of the road is like a cross, the sure way to a better life on earth and in eternity (heaven).