Friday, 3 March 2017

From ashes to fire

We have embarked together on our Lenten journey. It will take us right through to Holy Week and Easter, and beyond – to Pentecost. On Wednesday I spoke at Masses about a strange feature of this season that has fascinated me for a few years now.
In life a fire will often produce ashes, we go from fire to ashes. In this Lent and Easter season we go from ashes to fire. We have started by showing the ashes of our humanity, and way ahead on 4th June we will celebrate the fire of the Holy Spirit on the great feast of Pentecost. Isn’t that strange? It’s as if God is saying “This is my way of doing things”. It reminds me of that hymn which talking of the Lord “turning the world upside down”. It’s only if we accept our “ashfulness” that we can be open to the transforming fire of the Holy Spirit.

Someone pointed out to me that we can take it further if we add in the wood of the Cross on Good Friday.  So now instead of applying fire to wood to produce ash, we apply the wood of Jesus’s Cross to our ashes and  are taken into the fire.  Jesus tells Nicodemus in John 3:16 that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Through the Cross the ashes of our sins are removed, and  we are prepared to be set alight by God’s very own Spirit.
Enjoy the journey!
Follow our parish Lenten journey  "Walking with Jesus" here.

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