A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Renowned

The first reading from today’s Chrism Mass is from Isaiah 61. It has a special meaning for priests, resonating with the joys of their dedication to the Lord and of their ministry (which is why it is included in the Chrism Mass), but it is also very relevant to every Christian who is serious about being an instrument of the Lord.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly,
to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to the prisoners,
To announce a year of favor from the LORD
and a day of vindication by our God,
to comfort all who mourn;

A part of one verse, however, sounds somewhat inapplicable to celibate priests:

Their descendants shall be renowned among the nations,
and their offspring among the peoples.

Verses like these might somewhat bother anyone who, for one reason or another, cannot have or raise children.

Yet the meaning of this verse extends beyond just biological descendents (although that is its primary sense).

By the grace of God, all of us are capable of being instruments of God, often in very different ways, and thus of having God accomplish wondrous things through us, his humble servants.

These accomplishments, done in and through the grace of God, can be what “shall be renowned among the nations,” as we have seen so often in the lives of the saints throughout history.

Each one of us – priest or layperson, parent or childless – is called to be an instrument of God, to be a channel of his power and love, and to do things worthy of renown among the nations (even if actually unseen by human eyes) for the sake of his love and for the glory of God alone.