The Mark of Thau
Growing up there was an adventure show called “The Mark of Zorro”. Zorro being a fictional character who protected the rights of the poor and marginalized in California during the late 17th and 18th century. He wore black, had a flowing cape, and a sword. He was an expert swordsman. And upon vanquishing his enemy would cut into the perpetrators clothing a large “Z”, thus the mark of Zorro.
In Ezekiel we hear of the Mark of Thau. Thau is letter that is either “X” or “+”
There are many scholars who debate just what it is. But the point is that God appoints a scribe to go through Jerusalem marking all the faithful people before the coming destruction of Jerusalem. Ezekiel has been prophesying that Jerusalem will soon be destroyed. I was thinking of the number of times during the day we mark ourselves with the sign of the cross. Early Christians realized that the thau would be an easy mark for them to identify themselves to other Christians. Do we not do the same today?
With the virus, many people are not able to come to mass. I pray those who cannot come to mass find time to pray. We begin our prayers and end our prayers with the sign of the cross. It was once a tradition that when you drove or walked by a church you would sign yourself with the cross. Remembering to do meal prayers offers us another opportunity to make the sign of the cross. As a parent, one of the more important things we can do is to bless our children with a short prayer and the sign of the cross.
Remember Ash Wednesday when we are marked with ashes? Can others identify you as Catholic? As a Christian? Does God recognize you as marked for Him?
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen