Skip to content

Remember You are Dust

The #1 Catholic Online School
FREE Catholic Classes

By Pope John Paul II
2/6/2012 (6 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

"Memento, homo ... quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris" (cf. Gn 3:19). "Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return."

Yes. Today we need to hear the 'you are dust and to dust you will return' of Ash Wednesday, so that the definitive truth of the Gospel, the truth about the Resurrection, will unfold before us: believe in the Gospel.

Yes. Today we need to hear the "you are dust and to dust you will return" of Ash Wednesday, so that the definitive truth of the Gospel, the truth about the Resurrection, will unfold before us: believe in the Gospel.

Highlights

By Pope John Paul II
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
2/6/2012 (6 years ago)

Published in Lent / Easter


ROME (Catholic Online) - This homily was preached by the late Servant of God John Paul II during the Ash Wednesday Liturgy in Rome on February 21,1996. May his prayers help us all to deepen our own conversion during these 40 days.

Ash Wednesday Homily

1. "Memento, homo ... quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris" (cf. Gn 3:19). "Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return."

The Church speaks these words in today's liturgy, while ashes are placed on the foreheads of the faithful. These words come from the Book of Genesis: our first parents heard them after they had sinned. Original sin and original sentence. By the act of the first Adam, death entered the world and every descendant of Adam bears the sign of death within him. All generations of humanity share in this inheritance.

I once witnessed the opening of a royal sarcophagus in the cathedral of Krakow. It was the tomb of a great monarch who had ruled when my country was at the height of its splendor and power. I saw clearly with my own eyes how his body had turned to dust. In his case, death had fulfilled its relentless law. This will happen to each one of us: "To dust you will return."

2. After the Council, the Church also likes to repeat another liturgical formula during the distribution of ashes: "Convertimini!" "Repent, and believe in the Gospel!" (Mk 1:15).

At the beginning of Lent, these words on Ash Wednesday are a plan of life for us. They are the words with which Christ began his preaching.

Repent: Metanoeite! The readings of today's liturgy speak especially of this.

"Return to me", the Prophet Joel proclaims (2:12).

And the psalmist cries: "Miserere mei, Deus, secundum misericordiam tuam". "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love, ... of my sin cleanse men ... I acknowledge my offense.... Against you only have I sinned.... Create in me a clean heart, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me.... Cast me not out from your presence, and take not your holy spirit from me" (cf. Ps 51[50]:3-13).

In the Gospel according to Matthew, it is Christ himself who explains the meaning of almsgiving, prayer and fasting, that is, of the actions by which we put sin behind us and return to God.

"Return to the Lord, your God" (Jn 2:13), exhorts the Lenten acclamation.

"Repent!"

"Repent and believe in the Gospel".

3. What does "believe in the Gospel" mean? It means accepting the whole truth about Christ. The Apostle writes: "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor 5:21).

Christ, our justification.

It is in him and through him that the tragic knot indissolubly binding death and sin is loosed.

"The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Is 53:6) ... and he, Christ, takes that terrible burden on himself, so that in him we may become the righteousness of God.

Henceforth then, it is no longer the pair, sin and death, that prevails, but the other pair, death, his death on the Cross, and justification.

This fulfils what the Psalm proclaims: "Create in me a clean heart, O God" (51[50]:12). Create! Redemption is the new creation: in the justice and the holiness of the truth.

4. Why does the Church place ashes on our foreheads today? Why does she remind us of death? Death which is the effect of sin! Why?

To prepare us for Christ's Passover. For the paschal mystery of the Redeemer of the world.

Paschal mystery means what we profess in the Creed: "On the third day he rose again"!

Yes. Today we need to hear the "you are dust and to dust you will return" of Ash Wednesday, so that the definitive truth of the Gospel, the truth about the Resurrection, will unfold before us: believe in the Gospel.

On the threshold of Lent, it is necessary that this perspective be opened before us, so that we may believe deeply in the Gospel with all the truth of our mortal existence.

We are called to take part in the Resurrection of Christ. For this appeal to resound within us with all its force at the beginning of the Lenten season, let us realize what death means... "You are dust" ... "Repent! ... Believe in the Gospel"!

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2018
Priests and their Pastoral Ministry.
That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.


Comments



More Lent & Easter


'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead'

Luke 24:46

Lent Event

Importance

Ash Wednesday

February 14, 2018

Image of Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting... continue reading

Palm Sunday

March 25, 2018

Image of Palm Sunday Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels... continue reading

Holy Week

March 25-31, 2018

Image of Holy Week On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by... continue reading

Holy Thursday

March 29, 2018

Image of Holy Thursday Holy Thursday is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover... continue reading

Good Friday

March 30, 2018

Image of Good Friday On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week... continue reading

Easter Sunday

April 1, 2018

Image of Easter Sunday Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I calls it the greatest feast, and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter... continue reading

Stations of the Cross

Every Friday

Image of Stations of the Cross Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion... continue reading

Fasting and Abstinence

Every Friday

Image of Fasting and Abstinence For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the... continue reading

Image of What did you give up for Lent? From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year... continue reading

Ascension of Our Lord

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Image of Ascension of Our Lord The Ascension of Our Lord, a Holy Day of Obligation, celebrates the day that Christ, in the presence of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven. The Ascension occurred on the 40th day of Easter, a Thursday... continue reading

Pentecost

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Image of Pentecost Pentecost Sunday is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church, celebrated early enough to be mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (20:16) and Corinthians (16:8)... continue reading

Image of Lent FAQ's Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple... continue reading

Mardi Gras

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Image of Mardi Gras In France, the people feasted on foods that would be given up during the forty days of Lent. Meats, eggs, and milk were finished off in one day, giving the holiday its French title of 'Mardi Gras' which means Fat Tuesday... continue reading

Image of Transformed by Easter The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community... continue reading

Image of Appearances He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. - Matthew 28:6. Learn more about the Post-Resurrection Appearances of Jesus Christ... continue reading

Image of Easter Gifts Catholic Online Shopping offers a variety of Easter gifts & Easter treats for all ages! Choose a gift for someone special and celebrate the joy of Easter... continue reading

Easter / Lent News

From crucifixion to resurrection Watch

Image of

Christ is risen! Truly, he is risen! Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death. We know that God has the final word. And that word is love. ... continue reading


The Truth about Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday

Image of  Divine Mercy Sunday is not to be considered part of a private devotion.

Though it started out from a revelation that was made by Jesus to Saint Faustina, it is now an official feast in the Catholic Church. ... continue reading


God's Announcement: A surprise that moves your heart Watch

Image of How will you respond to the resurrection?

On Easter morning Pope Francis said God's announcement to his people always comes as a surprise, like the shock of the disciples who found ... continue reading


Jesus' death provides HOPE: Pope Francis' Easter message Watch

Image of Pope Francis on Easter 2018.

During his Urbi et Orbi Easter blessing, Pope Francis said Jesus' death and resurrection provide hope to a world marred by conflict, ... continue reading


The surprising origins of the Easter Bunny -- it's not what you think! Watch

Image of Rejoice! The beloved Easter Bunny has very Christian origins.

The Easter Bunny is a symbol of Easter that is popular in western culture, especially with children. According to folklore, the Easter ... continue reading


The Lent and Easter Season... by CatholicOnline.shopping

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.