Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Today is Ash Wednesday, the day that officially begins the season of Lent, with the next 40 days spent in preparation for the commemoration of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For Catholics, this is the day when they go their respective churches to hear mass and undergo the ritual of the imposition of the holy ashes on their foreheads. It is to the credit of their upbringing as practicing Catholics, faithful to the rites of their Church, that those who receive the ashes, marked on their foreheads by their priests, go through the entire day, with the dark imprint on their foreheads, openly and even proudly – a sure sign of their adherence to the practices of their forefathers before them.
There is much more symbolism in the imposition of the ashes than just submission to an age-old tradition. The priest who impose it reminds the receiver about his mortality, and how, after all the pomp and glory of this world, we will all return to dust. This is something very significant, especially in these days when materialism and abandonment of so many traditions and beliefs connected to the practice of one’s faith are becoming very common, with some people so adept in finding justifications for them.
But the ashes on one’s forehead that will stay there for just a short while, should do its mission of reminding us all how transitory life in this world is. Material possessions, fame, honor and glory – all these will pass away, and none of them will matter when we come face to face with our Creator at last.
Let those who will, once again, subject themselves to this humbling ceremony think of this today, and let it remain in their consciousness throughout the year, until another reminder comes on the next Ash Wednesday.*