Ashes remind us of our creaturehood, says Cardinal Advincula

The Archdiocese of Manila begins the Lenten Season with Ash Wednesday Mass presided over by Manila Archbishop Jose F. Cardinal Advincula at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral) in Intramuros, Manila.

“Ngayong Kuwaresma, tayo ay magkawanggawa, manalangin, at mag-ayuno nang walang pag-iimbot, panlilinlang, o pagpapakitang-tao. Maglingkod tayo sa pagbubunsod ng pag-ibig, sa halip na paghahangad na matuwa ang iba sa atin o mabusog ang ego natin,” said the Cardinal.

He told the faithful that the ashes placed on their foreheads are reminders of their creaturehood, that the Lord created man out of dust. 

“We are limited, vulnerable, and mortal. Pinapaalala ng mga abo sa atin na lahat tayo ay mamatay din, pagdating ng takdang panahon. And before the length of history and the breadth of the universe, we are just tiny grains of dusts,” he said.

He also stressed that the ashes on the heads are “shaped as crosses in order to remind us of the love of God.”

“Hugis krus ang bahid ng abo sa ating ulo bilang paalala ng pagmamahal ng Diyos. Though we are formed from dust, we are precious because we are God’s beloved. God lovingly gathered dust in his hands and breathed into us the breath of life,” he said.

In the morning, Cardinal Advincula also celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass for the Arzobispado de Manila employees held at the Arzobispado Chapel in Intramuros.

 “This season is a blessed time for us to turn away from hypocrisy worldly attachments, and go home into the warm embrace of our loving God,” Cardinal Advincila told the RCAM employees.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. It is a day of universal fasting and abstinence in the Church. Fasting is required from ages 18 to 60 while abstinence is from age 14. 

The priest imposes the ash on the faithful’s forehead saying, “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust, you shall return”. The ashes came from the palms that were blessed in the previous Palm Sunday which have been burned. (Jheng Prado | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery)


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