Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent and the celebration of the crucification of our Lord Jesus Christ. Lent is the period of five Fridays prior to the Lords’ resurrection from the dead.
During this time all Christians are to reconcile with God and adhere to their baptismal promises and repent of their evil-doing ways in order to gain victory on the Cross and acquire eternal life. Unless a Christian repents of his old nature and takes up his cross with Jesus, he is sure to go to hell.
In the Catholic faith all Christians humbly acknowledge their sins, repent and do penance according to the residing priest of their Diocese.
By attending Mass on February 17, 2010, every repentant Christian can receive the ashes on their forehead as a sign of obedience to Christ. This mass celebrates the baptism of the new believer and the continuance to live their life as close as possible to the original apostles or as martyrs.
The ashes represent Jesus Christ death and His promised resurrection (Easter) for His suffering so that humanity may forgive and be forgiven, repent, heal and share in eternal life.
Then as new persons in Christ, we give up our old ways of solving conflicts and live life with a heavenly viewpoint to aid in solving earthly problems.
In other words give more than you receive, this is pleasing to our Lord who states, “For all those you help others in time of need, think and know that it is I you are helping.”
San Bernadino Diocese (2008-2009). R.C.I.A. Chino Hills, California
Vatican, 11 Edition (1964). Mary-Knoll Missal. P.J. Kennedy and Sons, New York.