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“Dust You Are and to Dust You will Return“

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19, NIV)

Today, Feb. 26, 2020 is Ash Wednesday for the Catholic Church which marks the beginning of the Lenten Season. The homily at the Manila Cathedral Ash Wednesday Mass focused on the avoidance of the culture of appearance. The faithful are reminded to focus not on the outward display of the observance of Ash Wednesday like taking selfies with the ash on the forehead and posting them on social media platform.

While it is not actually wrong, the faithful are encouraged to focus on the deeper meaning of the ritual as the Gospel of Matthew states (Matt. 6:2). The occasion is the acceptable time and the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:1&2). The priest quoted Antoine de Saint in The Little Prince, “what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

The context of Genesis 3:19 is the fall of Adam, he disobeyed God’s will. God has said that in the day Adam and his wife eat the forbidden fruit, they will surely die! Which means that primarily, God wants Adam or man as a whole to be immortal. But because they disobeyed God, they should become mortal, and continue under the influence of a great variety of unfriendly agencies in the atmosphere and in themselves, from heats, colds, drought, and damps in the one, and morbid increased and decreased action in the solids and fluids of the other, till the spirit, finding its earthly house no longer tenable, should return to God who gave it, and the body, being decomposed, should be reduced to its primitive.

It is evident from this that man would have been immortal had he never transgressed, and that this state of continual life and health depended on his obedience to his Maker.


MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

Olive Tree Bible Software, 1998-2020.

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