Saint for the day: Paul the Hermit (c.233 = c. 345)
Isaiah 49:3, 5-6 – Psalm 40 – 1 Corinthians 1:1-3 – John 1:29-34
“Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.” (Today’s Responsorial Verse.)
With today’s Liturgy we’re pretty much finished with the “Christmas Cycle” and the verse highlighted, above, should give us an idea of what we are heading into. We’re no longer spectators at the events in Bethlehem and we are being called to pack up and get on the road. It might be good for you to go back and slowly read today’s “Responsorial Psalm” which really does outline what we are to do now that we have encountered the Christ: “Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.” We get only about six weeks to grasp what all is entailed in this “following of the Lord.” Then, we’re dropped of on Ash Wednesday to make our journey to Calvary. It’s just another reminder to us of why Jesus broke into our poor world. I know I’ve said it many times but it’s always worth a reminder: the image of the newborn baby Jesus, with his arms stretched out to welcome us fits so nicely into the Christmas Cycle. But we have to remember: the reason that He was born into our world was so that he could stretch our His arms on the Cross for our salvation. On the way, many of us will be faced with all kinds of smaller crosses as we seek to follow Jesus. This is why the “prosperity Gospel preachers are missing the point. Jesus didn’t come to give us material security but to show us the way to heaven. And He promises to be with us at all times especially when we are leading others to Him and lifting up the fallen and those in need of mercy. We don’t have to strive to be saints, just try being nice to the every-day folks who cross your path and do just one little act that lets them know that there is someone who cares for their wellbeing. If you do this – one day at a time – by the time you get to Ash Wednesday you’ll probably already be on the road to glory. Amen!