Dust and life

_SMO0691 copy“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

The priest wiped the ashes in the shape of a cross on my forehead. There it was, for the whole world to see. The physical manifestation of the truth of my human condition. I felt it: the reality of this as if it were burned into my soul when the priest touched his thumb to my forehead. Dust.

“The gifts of God for the people of God.”

This girl, who is dust and who will one day again become dust, knelt at the communion rail. On my forehead was the mark of my existence: dust. Darkness. Ashes. Yet there I waited for the coming of Christ in the bread and in the wine. You are dust. Yet, the Lord invites us to His table. Moments after the sober reminder of the end of our physical and earthly existence, the crunch of the cracker and the burn of the wine as it slipped down my throat spoke a paradox. You are dust, and to dust you shall return; yet, here is eternal life. Dust united with divinity. Christ inhabiting this broken body, dwelling within the heart’s castle, making Himself a part of this dust. Death gains life.

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