Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. No more Alleluia's til that glorious Alleluia on Easter Morning. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the 40 day period (not including Sunday's) before Easter. Ash Wednesday is a time of contemplating our sinfulness and the death that should be ours because of that sinfulness. It is a time to be reminded that there is no "good" in us, and that we all have sinned, and fall short of the Glory of God". On Ash Wednesday, we are especially mournful because of who we are and what we have done.
What does it mean for me personally? I am sinful. I can do nothing on my own that pleases God. I deserve nothing but an eternity in Hell for all of the sins that I have committed and continue to commit on a daily basis. There is NOTHING that I can do to make things right with God. Nothing. I am a sinner. I will ALWAYS be a sinner.
Of course, that isn't the end of the story...Ash Wednesday is the BEGINNING of the story...the BEGINNING of the season of Christ's Passion...his miserable humiliation, suffering, and painful death on the cross...the miserable humiliation, suffering and painful death that he allowed Himself to go through for ME...so that MY sins are forgiven...so that when God looks at me, he sees a saint...a perfect human being, with absolutely no blemish of sin. I am PERFECT in God's eyes...because of what Christ suffered all those many years ago. Jesus LOVES me so much that he suffered all of that for ME! Amazing!
And you know what? That painful suffering and death that Christ went through? He did it for YOU, too! Isn't God great? To provide a Way for us to be pefect...when we don't deserve it, when we can't earn it...God gave His Son to be a Way for us to be Holy, perfect, sinless.
Wow. There is no measure for the love that God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son have for you and me!