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December 14, 2014

On a cold day in December, just before Christmas, a little boy, about 7-years-old, was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold!

A lady approached the young boy and said, "My, but you're in such deep thought staring in that window!"

"I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes," was the boy's reply. The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her.

She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel. By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy's feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes.She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, "No doubt, you will be more comfortable now."

As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face, with tears in his eyes, asked her: "Are you God's wife?"

The beginning of the Gospel of John clarifies the difference between John the Baptist and Jesus: John the Baptist is a witness to the light; Jesus is the light.  John is the voice in the wilderness; Jesus is the Good News, the Word of God.

Like John the Baptist we are asked to make way for the light.  None of us are the light: our role is to let the light in through the chunks of solid darkness that litter our human landscape.  That appears to be a mountainous task beside which our own abilities and commitment look so small.  Who are we to compete against such large darkness?  Our contribution is first, to look at ourselves and work quietly on the darkness that hides within us-the selfishness, the un-forgiveness, and the lack of love that keeps the light of Good News from so many people.  On the larger social issues - like justice and peace - which require the witness of a caring community, we are challenged by the Gospel to work together.  We are to look after the poor, to care for the sick, to visit the lonely and to feed the hungry; that is to share the ministry of Jesus.  Holiness is the constant struggle of letting Christ be the light that shines through everything we do.  So let our work puzzle people.  Who cares, as long as the Light gets through!

Maranatha, Come, Lord Jesus!