We are for a day, marked. We are for a day, visibly human.
I recently wrote an article for @bustedhalo about Ash Wednesday. As we begin Lent today, I wanted to share with you an excerpt. The full article link is here.
“I began to notice others with ashes on their foreheads more, both in person and on social media. Each time I scrolled to see a picture of someone displaying their ashes or ran into another person with ashes at the grocery store, I thought the same words my son had said aloud to me — “We match.”
When we go to Mass as Catholics, we consume the Body and Blood of Christ, and the hope is that we take Christ with us as we leave the church and share Christ with others through our thoughts, words, and actions. On Ash Wednesday, however, we leave the church with a very physical sign of our faith. A dirty, messy, often unrecognizable sign of our humanity. We are, for a day, imperfect. We are, for a day, marked. We are, for a day, visibly human.
As a day that begins our journey through the Paschal path of Christ, we are also united in this messy humanity, and mortality, with our Savior. The cross of ashes on our foreheads reminds us that he was human, too. It reminds us that he died, just as one day we’ll die, too.
And, if we let it, the ashes we receive on Ash Wednesday can also remind us that we will one day be reunited with him in heaven. Our bodies to dust, but our souls to eternal life in Him.
Let Ash Wednesday this year be a day when you look at someone else and think “we match.” Let Ash Wednesday this year be a day when you recognize the humanity in another person and let them recognize the humanity in you.”
Have a blessed start to the Lenten season!