we are dust

today is ash wednesday. my wife and i woke up earlier to attend wednesday mass. we left our little princess still in bed. ah... i will missed her morning kiss today....after the mass, we took partways for the temporary assignment, our jobs.

this morning i read an article from fr. sandy enhaynes while browsing bo sanchez daily insights, and the homily is still fresh in my mind on the same topic, this is regarding the meaning of doing custom (ash wed). this article is entitled mamamatay ka din!

i was once challenged by a parishioner who approached me because she noticed the huge number of people following the catholic custom of imposition of ashes during ash wednesday. she said churches are filled to the rafters with people who receive ashes on their foreheads but offer not much meaning to it. she challenged me to do something about it, otherwise this sacred ash wednesday ritual will just be that, a ritual.

mamamatay ka rin! whether the priest says, “repent and believe in the gospel” or “remember, you are dust, and to dust you will return,” i believe the hidden pronouncement is this, that men have to shape up so as to be prepared for the shipping out which eventually will come.

mamamatay ka rin! the imposition of ashes is meant to make us be acquainted with our own mortality. life on earth is temporary and it has to be seen as a time of preparation— for the more permanent existence in the next life. there is a story about a man who lived all his life believing that god does not exist. he wrote in his will that he has to be in his most expensive suit when he leaves this world. the will was followed to the letter, hence, when he was brought out for viewing during his wake, everyone marveled at how marvelous he looked. the silence of the awestruck people who surrounded his coffin was broken when a man said, “all dressed up but nowhere to go.”

mamamatay ka rin! when it happens, where will you go? the challenge is for us to do something about our lives on earth. we are dust, and to dust we will return. before it happens, we need to really consider how we shall merit a place in the promised paradise of god. so as you receive ashes on your foreheads today, remember, mamamatay ka rin. tremble with that thought, then shape up.

quoted summary: "a man who won't die for something is not fit to live." - martin luther king, jr.

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