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Dear Parishioners

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Gardeners know that ashes can be used to help grow plants. But basically ashes are worthless. In fact they are often less than worthless - they are a hindrance and a liability. You can't make ashes pretty by

painting them, and you can't make ashes smell good by spraying perfume on them. Ashes are just ashes.
And so it is with us - people are just people. When all is said and done, no matter how much righteous paint we cover ourselves with, no matter how much virtuous perfume we spray on ourselves, what we are left with are thoughts and feelings and actions that are best buried and forgotten.
So why do we bother tonight smearing ashes on our foreheads? Why do we gather and remember what we are on Ash Wednesday?
The answer is that while we gather to remember who we are, more importantly we also gather to remember who God is - and what God has done for us in and through Jesus Christ.