Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Our littleness, Israel's smallness and God's greatness: Daily Mass Homily--Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

(Listen to this homily here).

In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”
            Jesus frequently speaks about little ones in his teaching.  At the literal level he usually refers to children.  Spiritually considered, little ones may also refer to the innocent and pure.  And aren’t we all little?
            You live up north and have had the chance to see a starry sky with the moon shining.  Picture how small we are compared to the cosmos that is filled with galaxies, stars and solar systems!
            Or consider the human body.  Scientists estimate that our DNA—the genetic make up which determines many of our characteristics—are 98% the same as chimpanzees.  We share 50% of DNA with bananas!  We are made out of simple stuff out of the earth like everything else.
            Staying with the human body, we all know how frail life is.  I’m betting we all know some perfectly healthy person who dropped dead.  Whether it’s in a car accident, illness or simple headache, aren’t our lives fragile?  Death will come to us all.
            The Israelites knew very well how little they were.  They had just been deported and brought into exile in a foreign country.  Their homes, communities and nations were utterly destroyed.  It was to these men and women that Isaiah addressed this prophecy, which begins what we call the Book of Consolation: “Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end…”
            While we are awfully small, God sent His son to find us.  He knew the dignity which we each share having been created in His image and likeness.  We prepare for the coming of Jesus.  May we continue to prepare for Christmas well.

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