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    Lenten Devotional - Ash Wednesday by Fr. Rogers

    March 6, 2019
    By: Rev. Patrick Rogers, S.J.

    Today we celebrate our relationship to dirt, yes DIRT!  Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return!  The name Adam comes to us from the Hebrew adam"man," literally meaning "(the one formed from the) ground".  For the ancient Hebrews, the name Adam was not just a really cool way to name the first man; it also served as a definition for all of humanity and a reminder of our humble origins.  It is also a reminder that we make up the Body of Christ.

    Armed with this knowledge, how do we in the present age remind ourselves of our humble origins and our deep connectedness to the human family?  One way we express this solidarity is by marking our bodies with ashes - a reminder that we all share in that humble origin story that marked the first man.  Marking our bodies with ashes reminds us, if only for a day, that we are called to embrace our connectedness to the human family, our family, and work together to help ease the pain of those who suffer.

    If we are children of Adam, I suggest that Lent should be a time of downward mobility - a time to reflect on the humbleness of our own creation and the connectedness that we have with the human family.  We humans are so used to thinking about rising above the “mud” of our lives, that we forget about our humble origins and unintentionally “rise above” our sisters and brothers in need.  Lent helps us focus our gaze and attune our vision from things “on high” to the muddy realities where the lost and forgotten toil and suffer.  Indeed, if our Lenten journey is anything, it is an invitation to remind ourselves of our connectedness to each other through our humble origins as we seek to be transformed as the Body of Christ.

    Rev. Patrick Rogers, S.J.
    Executive Director, The Jesuit Center

    For information on Ash Wednesday Masses, click here.

    PRAYER

    Precious Lord, help us to recognize the human dignity of each person we meet.  When we are hungry from fasting or tired from giving, give us your Spirit of love and compassion so that we may fill ourselves with those things that lead us to You.

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