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SONG TINH THUC # 283 = ASH WEDNESDAY PDF Print E-mail

Ash Wednesday, 1 March 2017.

Deacon Dominic Vu.

Today, each and every one of us, from the laity to the priests, from children to the eldest among us, and even to the rulers, the presidents, and to the bishops and the Pope, They are to receive the blessed ashes on our forehead or on our heads, as a symbol of our repentance and penitence before God, acknowledging publicly before all that all of us are sinners without exception, and that we want to do something about these sins we have.

Let us reflect on the words which the priest utters upon imposing the blessed ashes on our foreheads, that we ought to remember that we were all dust, and to dust we shall therefore return. It is a reminder for us that no matter how great we are in this life, how much wealth we have accumulated and gained, and no matter what is our position in our society, our fame, intellect and all the greatness and glories that we have gained in life, we are all just a mortal man, filled with sin and darkness before God. Ever since the time of Adam, the first man, whom God had crafted from mere dust to be His very own most beloved creation, carved in His own image, mankind had received the blessing of life from God. However, they have sinned and disobeyed God, and therefore, they were to suffer death as the consequence of their sins. It means that their earthly bodies made from the earth will return to the earth, and they all would face death, the ending of their earthly existence.

But God loves each and every one of us, brothers and sisters in Christ. He has loved all of us since the beginning of creation, even though we have sinned against Him and disobeyed Him and His commandments. He did not give up on us even though He was perfectly capable of doing so. He did not destroy us even though He was indeed capable of doing so. Instead, He gave us chance after chance, which sadly many people were unaware of, and some of these even rejected God's offer of mercy.

God is willing to forgive us, because He sees in us who we truly are, His beloved creation, which were unfortunately corrupted by the darkness of sin, by our disobedience and waywardness. Thus the ashes are also a reminder of just how sinful we have been, and a reminder for the mortality that we have because of that sin. It is a reminder that because of sin we have been made into mortal beings subject to suffering and death. And if we remember this fact, then it is important and necessary for us all to really that as long as we still draw breath in this world, it is never too late for us to turn away from our sinfulness, be changed and be transformed in our ways and in our actions, repent and thus be made justified and righteous before God. God is always willing to give us a chance to redeem ourselves, but if we are the very ones who rejected the Lord's offer of mercy, then no mercy will be shown us.

Let us all remember our short comings and our sins before God and men alike. Let us remember through the ashes we received, just how corrupted and wicked we have become, and the need for a genuine turnaround and repentance. Let us help support one another, by showing through our own actions and examples, the way to reach out to the Lord and to be forgiven our sins. May the Lord bless us all and be with us always. Amen.

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