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Gospel reflection

January 11, 2009

“Be instruments in God’s hands for the fulfillment of the gracious works of God’s Providence.”

I have called you. I formed you, and set you as a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring prisoners from confinement. (Isaiah 42:6-7)

Today Christians everywhere celebrate Jesus’ baptism by John, his cousin, in the Jordan River. We officially end the Christmas season. For many weeks to come we will read in Mark’s Gospel about Jesus’ ministry on earth. Isaiah wasn’t writing about Jesus, but when we read the Prophet’s words today we often think of Jesus. Jesus was baptized to do God’s work; each of us was baptized to do God’s work. Obviously we are not God; we are not Jesus. We are his disciples. When we were baptized we were given a big responsibility of continuing Jesus’ good works on earth. We probably won’t be working any miracles, but we can relate to people in life-giving ways as Jesus did. He approached people with the intention of lifting them up.

Action:

Every person has a right to be treated with dignity. This sounds easy until we are with people we don’t like or who have hurt us. Then our tendency is to put them down rather than lift them up. Think of someone you really find hard to like. Make a deliberate effort to lift that person up with your words and actions. If you truly like everyone, pick a person you think might need a boost; do something to make life better for him or her. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin said, “Be instruments in God’s hands for the fulfillment of the gracious works of God’s Providence.” Another way to think of what she meant is to allow God to use you this week as a conduit (channel) of love and compassion. As we sing, “Make me a channel of your peace….”

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Sister Mary Beth Klingel

Sister Mary Beth is a general officer on the leadership team of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. She has previously served as an elementary school teacher, pastoral minister and director of novices.

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