ASH WEDNESDAY HOMILY YEAR B
THEME: THE ASH ON MY FOREHEAD: WHAT MARK IS IT?
BY: Fr. A. N. Abiagom, CM.
HOMILY: On the Ash Wednesday of years ago, I went to school with the ash on my forehead. A senior student bothered about the visibility of the Ash smeared on my forehead that he had to ask me to go wash it off. According to him, “It is the mark of the beast.” Waking up this morning, I recalled that experience and thanked God I never washed off the ash on my forehead when asked to do so.
It’s more than twenty years now and I still present my forehead to be smeared with the ash which reminds me of whom I am. I am made of dust. The breath of God in me is why I am a living being. Why should I boast? Why should I choose to walk my own way and do things as though I am sufficient in myself?
The Ash reminds of me of the humility of Christ who has no sin but took upon himself the sin of the world, humbled himself to dieing on the Cross. The Ash for me is the mark of Christ because it symbolises death to the flesh and new life in the spirit.
Lent is a journey of death unto life. Unless we die with him, we shall not rise with him. The Ash announces the urgency of our need to repent and believe in the gospel. The announcement of the Ash is the message first proclaimed by Jesus at the beginning of his ministry.
May the merits of this Holy Season of Lent help us sinners to become saints.