Made from Dust

In Lent 24 by Bruce LogueLeave a Comment

The Lord created human beings out of earth and makes them return to it again…He marshals the host of the height of heaven; but all human beings are dust and ashes…” Sirach 17:1,32.

…the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7.

Scientists say humans are made of stardust. Really! Humans and the galaxy have 97% of the same kind of atoms: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulphur. Reduced to their fundamental parts, humans’ value seems to be more like a cash register receipt totaling no more than the sum value of the parts. Some estimate this value to be about $600.

The Bible reminds us that, left to ourselves, we are just dust. Just basic elements mixed together in the shape of a human. Lent begins with that dust. A cross of ashes placed on the forehead. A reminder that the divine spark is what changes the dust. God, the alchemist, transforms us from dust to gold.

Other estimates say that the human body is worth about $45 million when viewed from the point of view of the value of heart, kidneys, bone marrow, and lungs once transplanted to preserve another life. A good reminder of the potential that lives within each of us. But it doesn’t include the value of using our lives to love other human beings, steward the world’s resources, and bringing beauty to life whenever possible.

Lent is a good time for reflecting on how we will live our lives. Will we seek the infinite potential that God placed in us or will our lives, at the end, be worth only the sum of the parts? That would be a mediocre way to live.

Something to think about: Name three ways you are investing your life for the well-being of others.

Something to pray about: O God, we are reminded on this day of ashes that we can live in the smallest way possible, or we can live up to the potential that you have given each of us. Help us to be humble, remembering the ashes, but helps us also to be faithful in the ways we invest our lives. spend our lives for the good you desire. Amen.

Leave a Comment