to walk worthily of the Lord, pleasing him in all respects

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lent, Day 28: "I am the Lord's Servant."

Annunciation by Donatello at Santa Croce

Always a best man, never the groom.

John stands there as Jesus comes up out of the water and the Spirit comes down out of the heavens and he hears God say, "You are my beloved son."

Years in the wilderness. A solitary life lived on the barest of means. Then, when he could be with people, he can speak with them of only judgment and a need for repentance.

Finally, one approaches who is different; this is the one for which John had truly been preparing. In baptizing him, John finds his greatest moment. God's response: "You are my son whom I love." Yet these words are for Jesus and not for John. John's raison d'etre was someone else's acclamation.

John is certainly a better man than me; I think I would be frustrated that God had not spoken to me, had not at least dropped "oh, and you too, well done you."  However, this is Lent all over again, the season of 'not about me,' and John is my very necessary example once again.

Gabriel by Donatello in his Santa Croce Annunciation
John reminds me of the angel Gabriel who came to the blessed Virgin, saying "Hail, favored one, the Lord is with you." I keep a picture of that annunciation on my wall in my office. It sits right above the seat where students usually sit when they visit and reminds me of my role in their lives. "I am Gabriel telling you that God is doing something amazing in your life." Gabriel's image reassures me of the great task I've been giving as a professor of Holy Scripture as well a the humble reminder (again, very necessary for me) that I am only the messenger. I must not get in the way of what God is doing; I must not make the task that has been given me about me.

Lord, when, like John, I hear you say, "You are my beloved Son," help me not to be jealous but to be content that I have heard, that I know and that in some way I have assisted you to say it.

No comments:

Blog Archive