A few years ago, it felt like all of California was burning. Massive wildfires broke out up and down the state and burned for weeks. The fire that destroyed the town of Paradise in Northern California roared for almost a month and was the deadliest wildfire in California history.
San Jose, where I live, is over 200 miles south of Paradise and was completely safe from any danger from the flames. Yet, the entire Bay Area was covered with ash, and the air was so unbreathable that schools hundreds of miles away had to close because of the smoke. Although our own homes and businesses remained intact, we all suffered in some way with those who had lost everything.Lent calls us to acknowledge not only our personal sins but also those we bear together by our silence, complicity, indifference, or ignorance. Click To Tweet
The ashes we wear this day are a lot like those wildfire ashes. They get everywhere no matter how hard you try to contain, control, or brush them off. And those most affected by them aren’t the only ones who suffer the consequences.
Lent calls us to acknowledge not only our personal sins but also those we bear together by our silence, complicity, indifference, or ignorance. To be the body of Christ means we suffer when others suffer. But it also means that together we will rise from ashes to new life in Christ.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”