Thursday, March 26, 2009

"...a burning and shining lamp"

The beheading of John the Baptist

by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1869)

In today’s gospel Jesus says of John, “He was a burning and shining lamp (John 5:35).” Oh, to have the Lord say that of me! Wouldn’t that be something? The love and respect Jesus had for John was immense. It had nothing to do with his worth or possessions. He had none but the skins on his back. It wasn’t because he was brilliant or articulate. He was a one-message man, an unrelenting voice “crying out in the wilderness.” No, it was the love of GOD indwelling that shone from John’s heart - that gave him courage, strength and the certainty that he was, in fact, preparing the way of the messiah. It was the love of GOD Jesus recognized in his cousin – a passion they both shared in earthly life.

Lent is a good time to consider what kind of “lamp” I am these days – what kind of light emanates from my soul. Not every “lamp” burns as bright. Am I smaller than others, more decorative that functional? Am I a sturdy, standard floor lamp – giving light that helps others to see? Am I a groovy, little retro lamp that looks good on the outside but offers little in the way of illumination? I want to burn and shine like John – like a real flame dancing above wick and oil. I want to trade in those wasteful bulbs for something that costs a good deal more, but offers a light that lasts a good, long time. May we all shine and burn with love for GOD - today and "unto everlasting life (Rule of Benedict, 72:12)."

Blessings and love to you all...

- Sister Vicki