Ash Wednesday is in fact “Truth Wednesday” – irrespective of what people want to eagerly believe or fervently hope for. It is a day that stops anyone from thinking more than what he actually is, from feeling superior in human dignity than anybody else. It is actually a wake-up call for anyone to accept and remember that he is just any other mortal – irrespective of whether he is staying in the gutters or living in palaces, feeding from garbage cans or eating with golden fork, spoon, and knife, clothed in rags or attired with expensive materials. Ash Wednesday as “Truth Wednesday” is in line with the dictum that after everything is said and done; the truth is that at the end of the day – at the end of life – everybody is created equal.
“Remember you are dust and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19)
The above explicit statement and categorical reminder specifically invoked on every man, woman and young people when they go to Church and receive blessed ash in their foreheads through the Sign of the Cross, says means exactly that, i.e., everybody – and that means anybody – has a beginning and an end, acquires life and suffers death. And the phenomenon of death respects no time and place, accepts no postponement and exemption. It is for this reason that “Death is a great equalizer,” as it respects neither any status of life nor any prerogative of living.
From the king to the pauper, from the highest public official to the lowest private citizen, from the most powerful individual to a helpless commoner, all of them are equal before the fact of death. This realistic reminder and practical truth have special relevance to this country particularly in terms of the government and the governed. It is not a secret that there are government officials who think, act, and live like little gods vis-à-vis millions upon millions of simple people whom they look down as but footstools, and at times treat them as but miserable means to gather wealth, to command power as if there is no tomorrow.
“Truth Wednesday” – anyone?