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...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Change the world

“We thought we were going to change the world.”

So goes a frequent lament of certain members of the “baby boom” generation: individuals whose narcissism went from naïve ambition in the sixties to various other forms of self-absorption in the decade since.

Well, today’s readings tell us that the world can be changed and that we can be involved in that change.

But narcissism is not going to change the world (not for the better, anyway).

Today’s first reading (Isaiah 49:3, 5-6) gives us this powerful word of the Lord:

It is too little, he says,
for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation
may reach to the ends of the earth.

On one level, this is a messianic prophecy, fulfilled most perfectly by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but it is also a word of the Lord to Isaiah, as a “change agent” of the Lord for Israel and beyond.

It is also a word of the Lord for us.

God can do great things in and through us, not just for the body of believers, but indeed for the entire world.

I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation
may reach to the ends of the earth.

This is not something you and I do in isolation, of course. As St. Paul says in today’s second reading (1 Corinthians 1:1-3), we are

called to be holy,
with all those everywhere
who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
their Lord and ours.

These words St. Paul addresses to the Christians of Corinth, but obviously to all of us as well, for we are all part of the one body of Christ throughout the world.

But just as we are not “change agents” disconnected from each other, neither are we “change agents” simply by virtue of our numbers and our dissemination throughout the societies of this world.

The real and ultimate “change agent” is identified at the very beginning of today’s Gospel (John 1:29-34) by the immortal words of Saint John the Baptist:

Behold, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world.

You and I can perhaps do little to change the world.

We as a group of people who call themselves Christians and Catholics can do a little more, but not enough – not by a long shot – not against the powerful elitists of “modern” culture, not against the violent ideologues who seek to manipulate hundreds of millions to follow their homicidal perversions of faith.

Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the eternal Son of the Father, is the ultimate “change agent” – even taking away the sin of the world.

We can indeed be involved in changing the world, but we do that most effectively, powerfully, and positively by our union with the person and the mission of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Live in Jesus,
Change the world.