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Posted on: December 16th, 2020

 

Isaiah 45: 5-8,18-25     
Psalm 85: 8-13    
Luke 7: 19-23

For me, it has been a year of some darkness.  Like John the Baptist in today’s gospel reading, I’ve sometimes yearned for signs to bolster my hope.  So, this reflection is for myself.

Jesus responds to John’s question, “Are you the one?”, not with a rational sort of answer but by citing the miraculous.  Amidst the darkness, there is light and hope.  He speaks to John’s imagination, his sense of wonder, his hidden tenderness.  I mean that he speaks to John’s soul. 

Jesus speaks directly to our souls too.  As irrational a choice as it might seem, he calls us to embrace – to love – all of life. The comforting and the scandalous.  The beautiful and the horrid.  All of what is and our dreams of what might be.  

While I was in Kenya some years ago, I came to know women living in a Nairobi slum.  Residents were crowded into tiny corrugated-metal huts separated by muddy puddles of sewage.  There was no water, no electricity, no medical services. There was no protection from the rape that sometimes happened on their early morning walks to purchase jugs of water for the day.  

Yet these women were welcoming, generous, and joyous. They supported each other with ingenuity and hope. A frequent form of greeting was “God is good.” (Their response: “All the time.”“Yes, all the time.”  (Response: “God is good.”)  They were in love with life, in spite of or maybe because ofthe darkness in their circumstances.

It is through loving everything as Jesus does that miracles can happen.

Barbara Sheppard