With the imposition of the ashes, a spiritual station is started in Ecuador, which is particularly relevant for every Christian who wants to prepare himself worthily to live the Paschal Mystery, that is, the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
This vigorous time of the Liturgical Year is characterized by the biblical message that can be summed up in a single word: “metanoeiete”, that is to say “Convert yourselves”. This imperative is proposed to the minds of the faithful through the austere rite of the imposition of ashes, which, with the words “Convert and believe in the Gospel” and with the expression “Remember that you are dust and dust you will return” invites to all to reflect on the duty of conversion, remembering the inexorable caducity and ephemeral fragility of human life, subject to death.
The suggestive ceremony of the ashes elevates our minds to the eternal reality that never happens, to God; beginning and end, alpha and omega of our existence. The conversion is not, in fact, but a return to God, valuing the earthly realities under the unfailing light of his truth. An assessment that implies an ever more transparent awareness of the fact that we are passing through this tiring itinerary on earth, and that it impels us and encourages us to work until the end, so that the Kingdom of God may be established within us. and his justice triumphs.
Synonym of “conversion” is likewise the word “penance” … Penance as a change of mentality. Penance as an expression of free and positive effort in the following of Christ.
In the early Church, the duration of Lent varied, but eventually it began six weeks (42 days) before Easter. This only resulted in 36 days of fasting (since they are excluded on Sundays). In the seventh century four days were added before the first Sunday of Lent, establishing the forty days of fasting, to imitate the fast of Christ in the desert.