Fuel For Fire
(an Ash Wednesday Meditation)
There is a connection between the anointing oil cross placed on the forehead immediately after baptism and the ash cross of today. In the Bible, oil meant many things. Oil was fuel for fire, the only source of light during the night.
Jesus said that he was the light of the world (John 8:12). He also told his followers that they were the light of the world, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father" (Matt 5:14-16). This image came to life when during Pentecost, the Holy Spirit rested on their foreheads in the form of flame (see Acts 2:3).
I couldn't help but wonder if those ash crosses we wear today are to be a residue of the flame of faith in our hearts, a sign to remind us of what it means to be a Christian, an anointed living fire in this dark world?! May we be living lamps, spreading the light of Jesus' love in the world...
"and the LORD said to him: Pass through the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and mark an X on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the abominations practiced within it" (Ezekiel 9:4).
“Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God” (Revelation 7:3).
+ Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
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