Readings for Thursday December 9, 2010
First Reading: Isaiah 41:13-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145
Gospel: Matthew 11:11-15
I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” Fear not, O worm Jacob, O maggot Israel; I will help you, says the LORD; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. I will make of you a threshing sledge, sharp, new, and double-edged, To thresh the mountains and crush them, to make the hills like chaff. When you winnow them, the wind shall carry them off and the storm shall scatter them. But you shall rejoice in the LORD, and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain, their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the LORD, will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open up rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the broad valleys; I will turn the desert into a marshland, and the dry ground into springs of water. I will plant in the desert the cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive; I will set in the wasteland the cypress, together with the plane tree and the pine, That all may see and know, observe and understand, That the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. (Is 41:13-20)
Many times in this life, the world tells us that we must be great and successful. So many people strive to make themselves great, and sadly on their journey towards greatness they neglect so many other aspects of their life. The reality is that our job on this earth is not to be great, but rather to show God's greatness. I think that the Lord properly puts people in their place when using the descriptions of "worm" and "maggot" from today's first reading. Even Jesus talks about someone like John the Baptist being lower than the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. This kind of talk is not meant to lower our self esteem, but instead it is to help us realize that we are not as great as we think that we are.
Greatness come from the Lord. It is He who is the giver of life and all that we have. It is only through Him that greatness comes. The prophet Isaiah speaks of the impossible things that only God can do; such as turning desert into a marshland, or planting trees where no human could make them grow. He can do all things, and nothing is too big or too small for God to handle; "for nothing will be impossible for God." (Lk 1:37)
There is nothing wrong with achievements and success, but we must realize that greatness comes from God. Even though He may be dong great things in our life, we know that there are still more amazing things to come; because God is not through with us yet.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you have blessed us with. Help us never to take credit for your works, but rather to realize your love and mercy in allowing greatness into our lives. Lord, increase our faith so that we might trust in you so much more, and that we may have the courage to lay down our lives for you. We pray for all those who are unemployed, may they grow closer to you during this storm. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.