Today, the Church marks us for all to see. And yet, Jesus tells us in the Gospel that we should not wear our faith on our sleeves, or our foreheads for that matter. The Church picked the readings, so why the double message? Perhaps it is to remind us that these ashes are not for our co-workers, our neighbors, or any of the strangers we meet today. They are for ourselves. They are not meant to be worn on our skin for a few hours. They are supposed to reside in our hearts for the next forty days. So you might as well wash them off quickly, for God knows if they truly stuck.