Reflection, by Steve Schaefer, an MQP parishioner.
“God passes through the thicket of the world, and wherever his glance falls he turns all things to beauty” - St. John of the Cross, our Saint this day. It’s beautiful to think God is in the mess of my little life and His mere glance changes things. Can the motion of such an insignificant gesture be so powerful?
When I was a little boy, the neighborhood kids would play Super Heroes. It was great fun. We’d tie a mom approved ratty towel around our necks and put our underwear on the outside of our jeans. We nearly killed ourselves jumping off the porch because our heads were turned around watching our capes fly behind us. Since I was very shy and all the big kids called the best names first, somehow I got stuck with “Modesty Man” and the tag line that followed was “able to silence with his . . . silence.” Everyone would laugh. I willingly accepted the name and the weakness that came along with it because I believed it was true.
That was then.
In today’s readings, the word that struck me is “vindication.” It’s in both the old and new testament – “. . . and your vindication like the waves of the sea” from Isaiah and then again in Matthew “but wisdom is vindicated by her works”. Vindicate means to avenge, to set free, to deliver. These are heroic actions I need every day to battle against Satan’s evil ways.
My super hero power desires have transformed from being invisible and flying to wanting to love with all my heart and expect nothing in return, full of humility and acceptance. It’s my constant prayer. The best way I’ve found to keep the focus and fire is to regularly participate in the life giving sacrament of reconciliation. I’m usually holding a piece of kryptonite that is paralyzing my thoughts and actions as I enter, but look out world as I depart with a fresh outlook and renewed spark. Satan had me in his clutches and then is foiled . . . again and again.
As we prepare for our Savior’s coming to Earth this Christmas, will you consider re-energizing the super hero in you? A priest, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all, always, there to lift you up, overwhelm you with forgiveness to make YOUR glances change hearts. In your silence, with the turn of a head and a patient look into someone’s eyes, you can spread beauty. It’s that easy . . . and it’s that powerful.
+In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen