Thursday, February 15, 2018

Jeffrey Bond on Lenten ashes...

Tammy Ziegler makes the point that:

"You never know who might be touched by your quiet witness of ashes on Ash Wednesday. Last year, I really wasn’t that busy but I convinced myself I didn’t have time to go to Church in the morning. At work, I passed a surgeon in the hall who had ashes. Knowing his schedule was more hectic than mine, I reluctantly admitted to myself my problem wasn’t my schedule, my problem was laziness. He will never know he inspired my eagerness to be at morning Mass on Ash Wednesday.

The Eucharistic Minister who gave me ashes got me good; my forehead had a big cross and loose flakes of ash landed on my cheeks and nose. Before I cleaned the lower part of my face, I snapped a selfie for social media. The photo sparked conversations about the experiences we have in our secular world and sparked my own memories of past experiences on Ash Wednesday."

Imagine my surprise and disappointment when a Facebook friend, who is supposed to be Catholic, posted this:

Supercilious?  Really?

Behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others."

A witness to faith is viewed by this sad individual as "arrogance" or "elitism."

Our sad, broken world is in dire need of more such witness.  Not less.

Pope Saint John Paul II:

“Today the Church lays great stress on this truth, confirmed by the history of every man. Remember that 'to dust you shall return'. Remember that your life on earth has a limit!… Therefore the message of Ash Wednesday is expressed with the words of St. Paul: 'We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake, he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God' (2 Cor 5:20-21). Collaborate with him!”

We are called by the Lord Jesus to be His ambassadors.  We are called to give witness.  If we are ashamed of Him, we have been warned:

"For he that shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him the Son of man shall be ashamed, when he shall come in his majesty, and that of his Father, and of the holy angels." Luke 9:26, Douay-Rheims.

Witness is not elitism or arrogance.  It is fidelity.


Cyn M said...

What a privilege and an honor to display the holy cross on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday.I am humbled by the words of the priest as he marks us with the ashes:"Know man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shall return" Witness to the Faith, indeed.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Indeed Cyn. Our hurting world needs more authentic witness. With so many societal evils to comment on, such as the recent school shooting in Florida, how disappointing that Mr. Bond feels the need to criticize fellow Catholics for their witness.

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