If there is one moment in the liturgical year I love to hate, it would be Ash Wednesday.
Not only because it ushers in the beginning of the 40 or so days of the Lenten season, which means, meat has to be set aside on a regular basis (on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of lent for 14 years old and above) and fasting has to be observed (fasting means eating only one full meal a day for 18 years old and above), but more than these legalese expressions, Ash Wednesday gives us a grim reminder of the finality of life, of our life.
Whew! That was a load of a sentence up there!
Seriously now, the very symbol of Ash Wednesday foreshadows what awaits me after my earthly sojourn.
I am mere dust. I am nothing.
Except for metaphysicians, "nothingness" would really mean nothing to us. It's just that... nothing.
But to bring home the idea of nothing means we are mere mortal. We are not in control.
We could soar high, dream big dreams, win big in life, but at the end of the day, everything will amount to nothing. One day, we would have to stop breathing, and our bodily organs would cease from functioning.
And we would be dead. Flat line follows.
And the hair and the body and the face which we took good care of when we were still alive would start corrupting right after some days. Until every part of our body would return to its original matter: dust.