Where are my Harry Potter fans?? I know there has to be a few of you out here. . .
What’s the name of Professor Dumbledor’s pet bird? [Fawkes]
And does anybody know what kind of bird Fawkes is?? [Phoenix]
And does anyone know anything about a Phoenix??
The Egyptians, Greeks, and not surprisingly – the Phoenicians – all had a legend about the Phoenix. It was a bird who – once every 100 years or so, would set itself on fire by the light of the rising sun. And out of the ashes of the old bird – a new one would be born.
So the legend or the myth of the Phoenix – is about death and rebirth --- about putting to death the old – so that the new can spring forth. . .
Does that sound familiar??
Because this is the process or the methodology or the spirituality the Church gives us every year in this season of Lent.
Lent is a time to put to death the old – the old sins, the old ways of doing things, the old ways of selfishness, self-centeredness, avoidance and old ways of being --- so that the new can spring forth.
A new life centered on Christ, a new life centered on the values of the kingdom and not the ways of the world. A new way of acting, being and doing.
Lent is the time when we examine our lives and our motives to see how we are walking in darkness and need to step out into the bright light of Jesus Christ.
Now I am sure the death and rebirth of the Phoenix was not without its pain and suffering –and neither will our process of rebirth during Lent be without those things – because CHANGE is hard – and that’s why we avoid it and put it off. . .
But as disciples of Jesus Christ – we are called during Lent to change – through our prayer, our fasting and our almsgiving – to change more and more into the image and likeness of Christ.
So today – as the ashes are placed on our foreheads – let’s think about all the ways we need to change – to think about all those bad habits, all those old ways of thinking and doing, the darkness of sin – that all need to end --- so that new, life-giving ways of thinking, acting, and doing can take place. So that we can come out of the dark tunnels of our lives – into the radiant light of Jesus Christ.
Are we willing to do this?? Are we willing to die with Christ in order to rise anew with him??
And that will be the question asked as the ashes in the form of a cross are placed on your forehead:
Are you willing to die with Christ in order to rise anew with him?
And hopefully, your answer will be yes. . .
Yes -- we are willing – to rise again from ashes, from the good we’ve failed to do?
We rise again from ashes, to create ourselves a new.
If all our world is ashes, then must our lives be true.
An offering of ashes – an offering to you.
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