Dear Fathers , Friends in Christ,
Mark a “Thau” on the foreheads … (Ezekiel 9:4)
In the Pixar movie franchise Toy Story, the main character is Woody, a toy cowboy who belongs to a boy named Andy. Andy loves Woody so much that he writes his name on the bottom of Woody’s boot. Woody was always very proud of this honor, for it showed that he belonged to someone—that Andy had claimed him as his own.
Throughout the Toy Story movies, you see this theme expanded. As Woody meets other toys, he sees that some are not as deeply loved as he has been, and he sees the effect it has had on them. The sense of rejection hurts them and colors the way they look at the world.
This concept of identifying something as “your own” in a special way is an unmistakably human idea. Once you write your name on something, it is somehow transformed from a random object to something that is connected to you, something wholly yours.
In today’s first reading, Ezekiel describes the day when God will use men dressed in armor to strike down those who have not been faithful to him. But God will also send one man dressed in the linen of a priest to make a special mark on the forehead of all the faithful—those whom God can proudly call his own. The mark of those who are chosen is a thau, a Hebrew letter resembling a “t” that was often used to mark possessions.
Imagine the joy that those who were marked would have felt! After all those years lamenting the moral decline of their city, it must have been very affirming to be singled out by God in such a dramatic way.
You are marked as well! When you were anointed with holy oil at your baptism, God claimed you as his own. He has set his seal of love on you. You belong to him! Remember this truth today. Let it fill you with joy and peace. Your heavenly Father is completely committed to you. He has claimed you, and he will never let you go.
“Thank you, Father, for writing your name on my heart! Help me today to share with the people around me the joy of being chosen.”
Psalm 113:1-6; Matthew 18:15-20
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Bendigo - Australia