The two things we receive at Mass today: A homily for Ash Wednesday

downloadToday we celebrate Ash Wednesday. We will receive two things at this Mass: the ashes and the Eucharist. First, the ashes. One thing that the ashes remind us of is that without God, we are a pile of dust. Remember how he made Adam? He breathed into the dirt, and boom, there was man. We are simply a pile of dirt without the Lord who breathes into us life.  Now the second “thing” we receive at this and every Mass is far more important than a pile of dirt (it saddens me so many are so much more excited to receive dirt on their heads than Jesus within their bodies and souls) is the Eucharist. The Eucharist, it reminds us that, with God, we are holy, we are Jesus!  We who receive the Eucharist are divinized, we become Jesus!  Jesus lives his life within we who receive him in the Sacrament! The school is focusing these days on “Becoming What You Receive.”  When we receive the Eucharist, we become Jesus, we become the one we receive.  We have a lot of ways of remaining what we receive–Jesus names them in our Gospel: pray, fast, give.  Let us do that and do it generously this Lent.