Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ashes on the forehead.



















It's Miercoles and our traditional Ash Wednesday.

I will join the millions around the world that will celebrate this traditional

marking of the foreheads by ashes of last year's palm fronds.

No not just the Catholics, Methodists, Lutherans and even Protestants.

It is a tradition that began back in the 7th century.

It's a somber day on the Christian calendar that reminds one to repent

and of our expressing sorrow for our sins.

A time to reflect on our own forgiveness and putting aside

accusation and judgments.

It goes back to the 40 days of fasting that Jesus spent in the desert

before beginning his public ministry.

Symbolic of the 40 days prior to celebrating the death and resurrection.

The 40 days the universal flood.

The 40 days Moses spent in the Sinai.

It’s taking time to prepare ourselves spiritually for Lent,

the 40 days of fasting and sacrifice before the festival of Easter.

As a child I remember being told by the village priest, that I had come

from ashes and that one day I would - to ashes return.

Back then I was so confused by that statement that it took several long

conversations with my Viejita to really understand what I had just been told.

Simple words that remain with me to this day.

I make it a point to attend church service no matter where I have found myself,

and attend the “Liturgy of Penitence” and get the smudged cross like mark

put on my forehead. 

Life comes as a fleeting moment of time and every day must be treasured.

I came from ashes and that, one day, ashes I will become.

So no matter what you believe. It is Ash Wednesday - use it as a day to repent,

to forgive and be forgiven.

Make it a great día!