Mbamara, the Associate Parish Priest of St. Andrews Catholic Church Lusada, Ado-Odo/Ota, Ogun, in his homily on Wednesday, said that the Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent and the commencement of 40 days fasting by Catholics.
According to him, the Lenten season is characterised by fasting, prayers and almsgiving.
“Ash Wednesday is a reminder of our mortality and the transience of creation; this reminder is often based on the ashes we receive today which humbles us to our very mortality as persons,’’ he said.
He said that fortunately for the faithful, even though they were reminded of mortality, it also gave them hope toward the resurrection of Christ and the celebration of Easter.
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“On Palm Sunday, we celebrated the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and on that day, palms were used to accompany him and it is this same palms we burn today into ashes to commemorate the beginning of Lent.
“Jesus himself suffered, died and he rose and because of His resurrection, we all have hopes that even when we die we shall rise again like him.
“Christ died and stayed in a place of decay, a place of ashes, which is the grave; so, as we are humbled with these ashes placed on us, we are reminded that we are dust and unto dust, we shall return,” he said.
Mbamara said that through the reception of these ashes, the Catholics were hopeful that when they returned to the dust they would rise with Christ, adding that based on that hopefulness “we are called to repent of our sins’’.
“In repenting of our sins, we remind ourselves again of the hopeful onward journey toward heaven and to commit ourselves continually to the promises we have made as Christians, to the need of us being faithful to the word of God,” he said.