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Saint of the day: Bl. Mary Frances Schervier (1819-1876)
Readings for today's Mass: Isaiah 54:1-10 / Luke 7:24-30
Today’s reading from Isaiah gives us an image of God that we don’t often think about: a God who seems to regret having chastised us and who gently calls us back. A God who will be light for us in darkness and a gentle shepherd leading us to green pastures. And in our midst this prophet cries out, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
Then in the Gospel we hear these words of irony, “… there is none born of woman who is greater than John the Baptist. Yet I tell you the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.”
That means that you and I have the potential to be called “great” but there must be a catch in there somewhere. I think it might be in the meeting. When Elizabeth meets Mary she says, “the moment your greeting entered my ears the babe in my womb leapt for joy.” Elizabeth didn’t see the baby in Mary’s womb but she was so tuned to God that even without using her eyes she was aware of God’s presence. That means that our “greatness” will be realized when we understand that “the Kingdom of God is within or among us.
Most of us, however, are always looking out there or somewhere else and don’t realize that God dwells within. Yesterday I spoke of “darkness” and mentioned the Beatles song, “Hello, darkness, my old friend I come to talk with you again…” and it’s in that darkness that we find the Light of Christ. Why do you think saints are always depicted with a “halo?” That’s the light of Christ bursting out from within.
As kids at summer camp we used to sing, “This little light of mine: I’m gonna let it shine…” We have to remember that we don’t see the Light of Christ with our human eyes but with the eyes of faith. And this “seeing” comes about when we see it in others. My light is brightened when I recognize the presence of Jesus in another. Then we can become even greater than John the Baptist. Amen!