A few panels of the ceiling at St. Stephen Catholic Church, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
A reading from the holy Gosepl according to Luke 7:24-30
When the messengers of John the Baptist had left, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, "What did you go out to the desert to see? Someone dressed in fine garments? Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously are found in royal palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom Scripture says:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.
I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." (All the people who listened, including the tax collectors who were baptized with the baptism of John acknowledged the righteousness of God; but the Pharisees and scholars of the law, who were not baptized by him, rejected the plan of God for themselves.)The Gospel of Luke adds the outcome... all who listened "got" the message, with the exception of the Pharisees and scholars of the law. Those were the people who should have listened. They were too busy protecting themselves and defending the rules to accept the actual Son of God. I find that frightening. I have become a rule follower, I pray I don't fail to see the forest for the trees as the Pharisees did.
I had a beautiful birthday. I enter my 60th year! One of my daughters could not come to dinner last night. I was not too terribly sad about that, but I am worried that she is. No matter what, she has always been able to be at family events. But yesterday, there were just too many obstacles in her path. Her life is a bit overwhelming right now. She is in my prayers constantly. God has done so much for her, but I am afraid some of the rest of what needs to be done in her life is up to her.
Then more circumstances prevented my son from being able to come, sick baby, a car seat that needed to be washed and could not be used to transport sick baby, etc. At that point, I sat and cried. But my other daughter came over and convinced me to pack up the food I had spent the day preparing and drive the short 3 miles to my son's house. Oh, we had a wonderful time! I got to sit in a chair and hold my 2 month old granddaughter! - and she did not get sick on me!
Thanks to modern communication and social networks, I heard from so many friends, it made my head swim. I got a beautiful e-mail from my ex-husband in Australia. I heard from childhood friends, college friends, nieces, nephews, brothers, sister, and my children. By the time I was getting ready to go to bed, I spent some time reflecting on the blessings in my life and wept (again!) for gratitude.
I hope you can forgive my sentimentality. Pretty soon, I can blame it on age, eh?