Fr Xavier Kannatt, Rector, St. Thomas Minor Seminary, Eparchy of Kalyan, explained the importance of ashes in a Christian’s life and emphasized on the Biblical and historical significance of applying ashes. He conveyed his message through ‘Let’s Talk Something Catholic’, a video initiative by Catholic Focus YouTube channel, Kalyan Media Cell.
Fr. Xavier remarked that “The term “ashes” is often used to signify worthlessness, insignificance and is a sign of sorrow. The Sacred Scripture associates ashes with mourning and grief. Sprinkling oneself with ashes has been a mark of sorrow for sin. Several times the Bible mentions people repenting in dust and ashes. It has to do with our humanness, mortality, and weakness and man’s need for redemption. This is well-grounded on God’s command to Adam: “From dust you were made, and to dust, you will return.” (Gen 3:19). While ashes symbolize penance and contrition; it reminds us the face of a merciful God who loves the sinner and awaits his/her return.The imposition of “Ashes” marks the beginning of the Holy Season of Lent which culminates at Easter. It is a time to return to God, to turn away from evil and to live a life of holiness and justice. This is made possible by the sacrificial death of Jesus, the Lamb of God, who takes away the Sin of the world.”
Fr. Kannatt concluded his remarks by highlighting that “The making of ashes from blessed Palm branches taken from the previous year’s Palm Sunday liturgy is a custom followed by many churches, which can be interpreted as our acceptance of God’s gift of salvation: Jesus Christ.”