And said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” Ezekiel 9:4
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. As the priest applies the ashes to a person's forehead, he speaks the words: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
Jesus gave us his Humility, when he entered Jerusalem on a donkey, a lowly animal, not worth much, not something a great leader would ride on. But he, the king of kings, the son of God, entered the great city as a lowly man, one of no great importance. When have you willingly been humble, when have you allowed yourself to be nothing of great importance? Jesus entered Jerusalem with great fan fare, palms where laid out for him on the ground, and waved them at him as He road pass. He was treated as a King, a King who humbled himself, one who could have road the finest of animals, or even been escorted by many important people. But Jesus sacrificed the greatness, the ceremony and all the praise, for the humility of a donkey.
Jesus gave us his Dignity, when he washed the feet of his friends at the last supper. The act of feet washing was for the servants of the house, not the host or honored guest, and definitely not for the son of God. When have we ever washed the feet of our friends? Jesus became the servant master, the one who served us, even though he is greater then we will ever be. The humility this took was great, such an act of love, so simple yet so grand. To wash the dust from our feet, to wipe them dry, he who would save us all, on his knees to wash our feet from our weary travels. It is our dignity that we hang on to, we are always protecting it from harm, but Jesus free gives of it.
Time to Reflect and share our thanks, for this is the time that we remember the greatest sacrifice.