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...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Greater than Solomon

In today’s Gospel (Luke 11:29-32), our Lord takes his unbelieving listeners to task.

At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise

with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise

with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.

That “something greater” is Christ himself: the Eternal Word, true God and true Man, the only Son of the Father.

These words of reproach extend to our present generation as well and not only because Christ has come and has been preached to the world.

Indeed, in the millennia since Christ walked among us in the flesh, Christ has raised up among his followers many, many people who, as imitators of Christ, have become individuals greater than Solomon and Jonah. These individuals are the saints and the blessed, both the famous and the virtually unknown.

To be sure, none of these saints were perfect in all respects (who is?) and there have been too many people at even the highest levels of Christendom whose tragic flaws resulted in terrible things.

Human beings, Christian or otherwise, are finite and flawed creatures.

None of this, however, takes away from the greatness and the goodness that has been revealed among the greatest followers of Christ: from the perseverance and the wisdom of Saint Teresa of Avila whose memory we celebrate today to the perseverance and the selflessness of her namesake Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, from the intellectual heft and spiritual insights of Saint Thomas Aquinas to the fervent charity and sacrificial service of the young Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.

The examples of the Saints and all the Blessed speak to all the world, calling all men to turn from evil and to follow Christ.

The examples of the Saints and all the Blessed speak also to us, calling us not only to further repentance and conversion but also to open ourselves even more to the grace of God: a grace that enables his faithful followers to be greater than Solomon, to be greater than Jonah, and to be instruments of that grace in healing a broken world and bringing all people into the fullness of beatitude in and through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.