“Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
The two sentences used by priests when they place the ash on the heads of all those who approach him during the service. And this necessity to choose has always been my problem: which one should I use? I love both of them.
“Repent, and believe in the Gospel” reminds me of His promises and direction: where to go for instructions, how to keep His Word alive in my life and present in all my actions.
“You are dust, and to dust you shall return” – reminds me of my human condition and limitations, but also of my fragility. He is my Savior and Redeemer, and with His help I can do everything but without Him I am only dust.
I think the meeting point for both sentences is in the words from the Gospel: give alms, pray and fast. Alms turn my attention to my brothers and sisters, prayer keeps me involved in His world, and fast reminds me of my spiritual condition.
“Let us correct our faults which we have committed in ignorance, let us not be taken unawares by the day of our death, looking in vain for leisure to repent.
Hear us, O Lord, and show us your mercy, for we have sinned against you.” (Responsory; Cf. Bar 3, 2; Ps 79 (78), 9)
Categorised in: Fr Jarosław Szymczak