Ash Wednesday - the beginning of Lent

On Ash Wednesday we are symbolically stained with ash. This gesture is to open our hearts to the readiness to change our thinking and to reject bad habits.

The words of the Prophet Joel heard today remind us that Lent is 40 days continuous now; not later, but now. Lent is a time of great opportunities because God gives us a new beginning, a new chance to get closer to him; Lent is a time of action. Today we gather in temples to draw and ask good God that it may be a time of grace and conversion for us, because the Lord is compassionate, merciful, slow to anger and rich in grace. And when we return to Him with repentance and piety, He pours out His mercy on us.

Fr. Bogusław Binda, MIC, superior of the Lichen community of Marian priests and brothers during the homily on March 2, 2022.

Ash Wednesday in the Catholic Church is the beginning of Lent. It is a time of conversion, penance and preparation for Easter. Lent will end after 40 days (not including Sundays) with the participation in the Easter Triduum. This year, in accordance with the guidelines of Pope Francis, Ash Wednesday is celebrated all over the world as a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Ukraine plunged into hostilities with Russia.

Forty days of Lent is a symbolic number that appears many times in the pages of the Bible. This is a very significant period for God. When he wanted to prepare a person for a specific purpose, he spent 40 days on it: 
  • Noah's life was changed during the forty-day rainy period.
  • Moses experienced a transformation during his forty-day stay on Mount Sinai
  • The spies experienced a transformation when they spent forty days in the Promised Land.
  • David survived the change during the forty-day challenge of Goliath.
  • Elijah was transformed when God gave him strength for forty days with one meal.
  • The city of Nineveh was changed when God gave people forty days to change.
  • Jesus was strengthened by spending the same number of days in the desert.
  • It took the disciples forty days to transform themselves after Jesus was resurrected.
During the morning Mass at. At 7.30 am celebrated in front of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Lichen, people prayed for peace in Ukraine. The Eucharist was presided over by Fr. Bogusław Binda, MIC, superior of the Lichen community of Marian priests and brothers. Other members of the Marian Congregation prayed with him: Fr. Janusz Kumala, MIC, the curator of the sanctuary and Fr. Jarosław Hybza, MIC.
After the homily, the priests sprinkled ashes on the heads of the faithful as a sign of conversion and penance. During the rite, they said the words: "You are of dust and to dust you shall return" or "repent and believe in the Gospel".
Text and photos: Sanctuary Press Office

Podziel się wpisem