There’s something remarkable about watching your toddler be told to Remember he is dust. Our amusement at his confusion as to why Father is rubbing dirt on everyone’s forehead is interrupted by the jarring fact of his particular mortality.
He is not actually mine.
No, he is God’s; formed from me, yes, but created beyond me, with me. We are both dust and to dust we shall return. It makes my own mortality suddenly more desirable, that I might return to dust instead of the little buddy who later (and after every Mass) runs down the aisle shouting with the simple joy of running.
But then, before I’m allowed to get too morbid, we receive the medicine for immortality. You are dust, but this is His body, broken for you. The bread of life, antidote to this body of death.
Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the lamb.