Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
(Hebrews 12:1-4; Mark 5:21-43)

It is said that John Paul II canonized more saints than any pope in history, and perhaps as many as all the popes combined! Who would imagine that he made all these saints because he enjoyed officiating at the canonization rite? Much more likely, he recognized so many saints because he wanted to give people all over the world models to follow. The Letter to the Hebrews today speaks of these models as “a cloud of witnesses”; that is, a body of people who testified to God’s love by their heroic love of God.

Everyone at all times is challenged to love God above all and to love neighbors as oneself. Certainly our age is no exception. We have more education than previous generations which should support virtuous living. But rather than thank God for blessings received, people today are more likely to question God’s existence. Likewise, all the inventions that we covet often serve us poorly by removing us, whether physically or emotionally, from the people we are given to love. We must look to that cloud of witnesses, which includes friends like the person who takes a number of childless seniors to their doctors. Their presence reminds us that loving is neither easy nor impossible. It is just what we do as part of God’s family.