Psalm: 118
Gospel: John 16:1-15
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from the Jerusalem Catecheses

Sacramental churches often get criticized for having rituals that are not entirely Biblical. In the Old Testament, chrismation (anointing with oil) was an important symbol of authority and office; usually for kingship and priesthood.

Using material things in ritual and ceremony also help us to engage with our physical senses, as well as our mental faculties. I think the Patristic selection for tonight offers some beautiful insight, and I would definitely encourage you to read the full excerpt from the link above.

When we were baptised into Christ and clothed ourselves in him, we were transformed into the likeness of the Son of God. Having destined us to be his adopted sons, God gave us a likeness to Christ in his glory, and living as we do in communion with Christ, God’s anointed, we ourselves are rightly called “the anointed ones.” When he said: Do not touch my anointed ones, God was speaking of us….

The oil of gladness with which Christ was anointed was a spiritual oil; it was in fact the Holy Spirit himself, who is called the oil of gladness because he is the source of spiritual joy. But we too have been anointed with oil, and by this anointing we have entered into fellowship with Christ and have received a share in his life.

Our participation with Christ is not an abstract thing. It is an active engagement with the world and everything in it. Sacraments like Baptism, Eucharist, and Chrismation are a way for us to remember that God is with us. That Jesus came and walked the earth. Who got his hands and feet dirty….who washed the feet of his friends and who was anointed with fragrant perfumes.

Holy oil is seen as a seal, a definite sign of who we are and where we have come from. An announcement to the world that we have been brought from death to life and that the ministry of reconciliation and healing announced and enacted by Jesus is shared by us…the Church…the people of God. 🙂

Don’t be afraid to have some blessed Chrism in your house….to help yourself to know that indeed the Holy Spirit is here and has sealed us as Christ’s own forever. 🙂 +

Advertisements