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Ash Wednesday 2017
Stardust Ritual Reflection
Ash Wednesday 2017  Ritual

Many of us recall past times when we have received ashes on our foreheads and heard words like these: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." We also remember how that influenced our practices during Lent.

As we carry those thoughts and graces into today, we are invited to place them in the larger context of the entire universe and its amazing 13.8 billion-year history. After billions of years, thanks to the divine Mystery living and acting in our world and in us, stars formed and died in the process of bringing Earth to existence. We became part of this blessed creation. We are reminded that we are connected to all life; we have a role in this sacred story!

Our planet Earth was once a dancing star, evolving over four and a half billion years ago. "I have loved knowing that we are 'made of stardust' … that the composition of my body has the elements of a star that was once brilliantly aglow in the universe and is now dancing in me… a magical sense of connection
…"says Joyce Rupp in The Cosmic Dance.

starThe massive star that was mother to our Sun met with a fiery death, her form completely annihilated by the explosive force of the blast. And yet she exists in each of us, in the cells of our bodies that are composed of her dust. Consciously or not, we carry her within us as surely as we carry the DNA of our biological parents.
(Radical Amazement, Judy Cannato)
 
And so we give thanks:
   • for the Spirit present within the creative process of creation and within each of us
   • for the generations of supernovas that exploded, yielding our solar system and galaxy
   • for Earth's soil, Sister Dirt, and all it allows us to enjoy, and for those committed to tilling and protecting
      it so that we might have a flourishing Earth, able to serve all
   • for the scientists, theologians, thinkers, writers, speakers and artists who help us realize our place in creation

May this soil (this dust of the Earth) which dates back billions of years and which took over 4 billion years to form on Earth, keep us humble - humus is the Latin for soil. May it remind us of who we are and how vitally we interconnect with the rest of creation. May we trust in the divine power working in us for the good of all creation. May our lives, our choices, reflect our being co-creators with the divine. Amen.

Reflection:
Jesus, too, was stardust! Jesus, too, died to give new life - as each seed must do. - How might we connect the creation story with our Lent experiences this year? - How might our Lent resolutions reflect our call to care for E/earth?

*** Adapted with permission from Ash Wednesday 2017 Stardust Ritual by Terri MacKenzie, SHCJ
Click here for the full original Ritual


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