Today is Ash Wednesday, where we commemorate the beginning of Lent by receiving ashes on our foreheads with the words "turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel." The ashes are used as a symbol of sorrow for sin in the Bible. They are used as an outward sign meant to symbolize both death and repentance in order to begin Lent in a solemn, humble way. We are called to reflect on our sins and return to living the Gospel values throughout Lent.
It is also Pink Shirt Day, where we wear a pink shirt to raise awareness about bullying prevention and healthy relationships. Through the participation of this event, we are called to remember the times we have been bullied or have bullied others and return our hearts to loving relationships.
To celebrate the beginning of Lent and Pink Shirt Day allows our community to align our lives with the two great commandments of Love God and Love One Another. Both these traditions acknowledge that we have not loved God with our whole heart, we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves and we need to make every effort to change the way we treat others. Let us ask for repentance for ourselves and others as we turn away from behaviours that are not following the way of Jesus and His teachings.