This day reminds us of the clay from which we were made: "God formed man with dust from the ground" (Gen 2,7). And we are immediately reminded that this is precisely our end: “By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust you shall return."(Gn 3,19).
Abraham said: “I am only dust and ashes!” (Gen 18:27). In Jonah, the ash is the sign of the conversion of the inhabitants of Nineveh (Jon 3, 6). In Job it is explicitly a sign of pain and penance "I do penance on dust and ashes" (Jb 42,6).
Receiving the ashes is our response to the Word of God that invites us to conversion. That is why when we approach to receive the ashes, let us meditate very well in our hearts on the words of the Bible: "Repent and believe in the Gospel" (Mk1,15) and "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return" ( Gen 3.19).