“Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance and it marks the beginning of Lent. Ashes were used in ancient times, according to the Bible, to express mourning. Dusting oneself with ashes was the penitent’s way of expressing sorrow for sins and faults. An ancient example of one expressing one’s penitence is found in Job 42:3-6. Job says to God: “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. The other eye wandereth of its own accord. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (vv. 5-6, KJV) Other examples are found in several other books of the Bible including, Numbers 19:9, 19:17, Jonah 3:6, Matthew 11:21, and Luke 10:13, and Hebrews 9:13. Ezekiel 9 also speaks of a linen-clad messenger marking the forehead of the city inhabitants that have sorrow over the sins of the people. All those without the mark are destroyed.
It marks the start of a forty day period which is apparently an allusion to the separation of Jesus in the desert to fast and pray. During this time he was tempted. Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:1-13. While not specifically instituted in the Bible text, the 40 day period of repentance is also analogous to the 40 days during which Moses repented and fasted in response to the making of the Golden calf. (Jews today follow a 40 day period of repenting during the High Holy Days from Rosh Chodesh Elul to Yom Kippur.)” – From Wikipedia
There is alot to be sorry for these days. Most of the time we don’t even realize when we commit a slight against another. Perhaps God was onto something when he created Yom Kippur. According to a Day of Discovery episode I once saw, that day was all about repairing relationships. There are the horizontal relationships, the ones between you and your family, you and your friends, and you and your fellow man. Then there are the vertical relationships, such as your relationship between you and God. Since today is all about mourning, it’s a good day to mourn lost relationships and do what is needed to patch frayed ones. We have gone wrong in more ways than one, it’s time to make it right.