Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Sign of Gideon

Remember what Jesus said about the "sign of Jonah"? He was referring to the prophet-in-the-belly-of-the-whale as a hint of his own three days in the tomb. Well, we have a hint in today's Gospel of the "sign of Gideon" when Jesus says "Many who are last will be first and the first will be last." In the first reading, Gideon puts it this way: "My family is the least of all the families in Manassah, and I am the least in my father's house!"
The angel had addressed him as "O Champion," but Gideon was claiming the title "Loser" instead. It didn't matter. Gideon wasn't going to save his people by his own strength or strategy: God was already "choosing the things that are not to confound the things that are" (as St. Paul would later say). Why? Same reason God keeps putting the "treasure of the knowledge of Christ" in "earthen vessels": "to show that the surpassing power is from God and not from us."
Speaking of earthen vessels... Today is the 31st anniversary of my entrance into novitiate. And tomorrow will be the entrance day for our new postulants. It will be a major blessing if the "sign of Gideon" is upon them.

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