Lent 2014 Ponderings: #Ashtag and the New Evangelization

If you’re hanging out on Twitter today, or Instagram or Facebook for that matter, you’ll see plenty of “selfie” New Evangelization going on as folks share via the #ashtag hashtag. As I type this, #AshWednesday is even trending on Twitter:

#AshWednesday trending on Twitter

Why does this matter? Aren’t selfies with ashes just the same brand of self-centered behavior as regular selfies?

I’d argue not. So, I believe, would my buddy Deacon Greg Kandra. Or the USCCB, which has a whole Ash Wednesday selfie album going on (send yours to media-relations@usccb.org). And FOCUS gets in on the act with an awesome post that will help you ID the “eight types of ashes you might get” or see on your friends #ashtag selfies.

Just in the same way that we walk into our places of business, our homes, and our communities with ash-remnants spread across our foreheads, when we venture into our social networking communities and display our ashes, we make a statement. Hopefully in the same way that we are prepared to explain our ashes to questioning friends who may not understand them, we can do so in places like Facebook and Twitter. Mark 16:15 tells us, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” Social media evangelization offers us new and exciting ways to proclaim.

Today Bishop-Elect Myron Cotta proclaimed to the faithful at our 8:00 Mass as he marked our foreheads with ashes, “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel.” The gospel tells us to share the Good News. When we use the tools at our disposal to do so in new, innovative, and even fun ways, we become a part of the New Evangelization.

A question for you: Have you received your ashes yet today? Was your parish crowded?

About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms.

  • http://focus.org/ Kevin Cotter

    At one point in time, #ashtag was trending in the US as well! Thanks for this post Lisa!

    • lisahendey

      It’s still going strong! Thanks for commenting Kevin. I pray you have a wonderful Lent.

  • http://www.survivingourblessings.com/ Abbey

    I think it is exciting to see how people are using social media to share faith in new ways…I never would have expected Ash Wednesday to be trending. :-) We haven’t gone yet to Mass today- we’re waiting for my husband to get home from work. I didn’t feel brave enough to take everyone at noon by myself (just before their nap time…ugh).

  • http://churchmojo.com/ Mark Alves

    I enjoyed getting to play a part in the spread of #ashtag by creating a parody of Ellen’s Oscar selfie. The BBC covered this here: http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-26453205

  • ME

    Standing room only at our school mass yesterday at 10:00. :) It is good to see!


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