It was in a bible study class from my parish, where I first learned about the indelible mark.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1121 : The three sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders confer, in addition to grace, a sacramental character or "seal" by which the Christian shares in Christ's priesthood and is made a member of the Church according to different states and functions. This configuration to Christ and to the Church, brought about by the Spirit, is indelible, it remains for ever in the Christian as a positive disposition for grace, a promise and guarantee of divine protection, and as a vocation to divine worship and to the service of the Church. Therefore these sacraments can never be repeated.
The clarity of this mark became known to me in my early 40s. The whole time before that I had no idea what it meant.
Once I learned of this love that deciphers us from the world, it made my heart grow in a sense that the family, the Church, widen up to a bigger picture.
At times, when I walk around my city, or in the Church pews, or when I’m traveling, I often receive an emotion of peace and a strength because even though I can’t see that others are also marked I know among them they are around me.
For me, it’s a badge of honor, coat of arms, military colors, a wedding band. It helps me remember who I am to be.
In my family, I don’t recall anyone ever mentioning the significance of this mark and how very important I should keep myself reminded of it. I can’t fully blame my immediate family because my parents carried their faith into our lives on how they received it. No one dug deep into the faith.
I feel because of what God has given me, the knowledge I have to this point, the fire/zeal to learn about the faith, makes me responsible for sharing it. We all are called to.
What a precious gift we’ve been given in these sacraments where the ‘mark’ is given. How even when we do the Sign of the Cross, it’s a pronounced action of what is already transfixed in us.
I recall a bible study that explains when the end of time comes, Our Lord will identify us by this indelible mark.
Revelation 7:4 I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked* from every tribe of the Israel.
The work from those with this mark have much to do. Until the very end, our lives need to keep proclaiming for God’s will to be done. Often at times in my life, I feel like I could be doing more. But I recognize I have allowed fear to halt the work and all I can do is ask God to get me where He wants me to be and remove whatever barrier(s) are preventing me from living out my purpose.
I value more the fact that when I rise in the morning, the first thing I do is the Sign of the Cross. This is how I begin my day and end it.
Lord God, this day, and everyday, may we live out the indelible mark. +
One thought on “Indelible Mark +”
“…bigger picture….” Well-said.