Today you get the vigorous prophet Joel telling of a nation so caught up in repentance, the whole populace contributes, sparing not even the newlyweds. Just picture if Bridezillas and their consorts were sucked in to the fray. Jesus preaches from the mount to give us the three pillars and make no show of it while we’re at it.
Then we have that semi-lost Pauline passage:
So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us.
Contrary messages, which we should come to expect from the Christian life. Don’t let your hands know what the others are doing, but show forth your ashes so everybody knows you are a Catholic.
Maybe on second thought, these are not so contradictory. An ambassador is appointed by due authority. She or he serves not for the self, but on behalf of others. So too, the ashes of this Wednesday are sort of our diplomatic credentials. We don’t give our wax-sealed papers to everyone we meet, but we self-identify as a representative of the Lord Jesus. And how do we get these bona fides? Through an act of repentance.
Best behavior, I guess, especially for us bloggers. No diplomatic immunity, only added responsibilities to be a good example. Have a blessed first day of Lent.