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The day following Pancake Tuesday is Ash Wednesday. It is the first day of Lent. Lent lasts for 40 days and nights, ending with Easter sunrise. If you count the number of days from February 17 to March 4 you’ll have more than 40 days. However, the Church omits the Sundays during Lent because Sunday is always a celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The focus of Ash Wednesday is to remind us that God has expectations of how we will live our earthly life. When we forget, choose to ignore, or decide to rebel against these expectations we end up hurting ourselves, hurting others, and hurting our Father in Heaven who loves us more than we can imagine. Ash Wednesday invites us to admit to God and to our self that we have fallen short of what God expects. We humble ourselves by receiving a cross of ashes on our brow, remembering that we are dust and to dust we shall return.

Ash Wednesday assures us that if we ask for forgiveness, for new strength to follow God’s Way, then the journey through Lent will guide our Soul onto the path which leads to eternal life.

Bible Reading: Isaiah 1:18-19; Ezekiel 18:30-32