Daily Reflections

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I am beautiful, I am special, I am unique, and I am loved by God.

December 5, 2017

SS Reflection for Dec. 5th, 2017

The first 39 Chapters of Isaiah was written 800 years before the coming of Christ. The prophet warns the kings of Israel to remain faithful to God… the God who created them, who led them out of Egyptian slavery and into the Promised Land. Regrettably they paid little attention to Isaiah.

In today’s reading Isaiah promises a savior who will bring God’s dream for Israel to fulfillment – God’s dream which Israel’s kings totally disregarded. They had their own dreams which were far from God’s. God’s dream was for shalom – peace. Don’t we all long for peace… peaceful and fulfilling relationships with others, with our God and even with mother earth?

… Then the wolf shall be the guest of the lamb

the calf and the young lion shall browse together,

with a young child to guide them.

In the fullness of times loving God’s own Son will be born to bring God’s dream to us. Jesus was born poor, in the midst of a poor, conquered nation. At the time of his birth Jesus was homeless, a stranger in the land. His parents even had to flee into another country due to persecution – their baby son’s life was threatened… a preview of his adult life and ministry.

So many people today have similar dark experiences. When normal people experience or even hear about such dark realities as murder, ethnic cleansing and torture, they know that something is wrong with this. They know that something better should be happening. Our experience of horrendous evil leads us to long for a better future. We are ‘hard wired’ to want something better. Normal people reject the ugly and obnoxious, and long for the good and the beautiful. When we as Christians talk about salvation from God in Christ we always connect that with human flourishing which entails the overcoming of evil and suffering. 

In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus say:

… I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wide and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.

 

A Story… I Am Loved By God     (Jamaica, W.I.   March 2006)

A number of years ago I was helping out in our Parish in Kingston, Jamaica, W.I. Our Parish, St. Elizabeth Parish, is on the cusp of a very rugged Jamaican ghetto nicknamed “The Jungle”… gangs, drugs, gunfire and a lot of nighttime loud music – it’s a tough neighborhood.

There is a grade school on the property of our Parish, St. Elizabeth Primary School.  There are 90 children in the school which includes kindergarten, first and second graders.  Some of the children come from families at risk. These little kids know what a gunshot sounds like. 

Each morning the school day begins with 30 minutes of prayer… singing mostly.  The little kids and their teachers gather in the schoolyard in their blue uniforms with white tops.  They make a noisy, joyful choir singing God’s praises. 

The principal and teachers are dedicated to the kids.

Their classrooms are simple and colorful, with collages and wall hangings… all created by the children.

At the end of each Morning Prayer session the principal, Ms Farnsworth, leads the children in a beautiful proclamation which all of them repeat several times…

I am beautiful, I am special, I am unique, and I am loved by God. 

I am beautiful, I am special, I am unique, and I am loved by God.

I am beautiful, I am special, I am unique, and I am loved by God.

 

And Jesus says:

… I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wide and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.

 

Fr. Don Ware, C.P.