5th Week in Ordinary Time
She was breathless. (1 Kings 10:5)
The splendor and depth of God’s wisdom can be a powerful witness indeed! The Queen of Sheba was so taken by Solomon’s insight and wisdom—not just by the grandeur of his palace and Temple—that she couldn’t help but respond. Scripture tells us that it actually took her breath away. God had blessed Solomon so richly that the queen ended up glorifying God.
It may be hard to believe, but using our gifts of insight and wisdom can also be a powerful witness to those around us. You probably don’t live in a palace or don’t have massive landholdings. But God has blessed you with his indwelling Spirit. And that sets you apart. You stand out! The way you live and the priorities you have can point onlookers to heaven. Your words and responses can demonstrate God’s wisdom and gentleness in a critical or selfish setting.
As you grow closer to the Lord and give more of your life to him, you become more open to his goodness and wisdom—and that becomes more evident to the people around you. It is this “evidence” that can lead onlookers to come seek out the Lord for themselves and, eventually, to glorify him. Put simply, they will want what you have: peace, confidence, assurance, and firmness of purpose.
Jesus wants your light to shine out to other people (Matthew 5:16). This light shouldn’t be restricted to the way you pray or to your ability to quote Scripture from memory. If it really is God’s light, then it will naturally include his goodness shining through the most everyday aspects of your life. The more your heart is dedicated to God, the easier it is for people to see the Lord and his gifts in you.
Think about the gifts that God has given to you. How is his goodness being displayed in your life? How has it increased over the past few years? As you identify these blessings, give thanks and praise to the Lord and dedicate yourself to him even more. Then watch what God does in you and through you.
“Holy Spirit, open my eyes and the eyes of those around me to the wonder and majesty of your presence. May we all glorify you for your unbounded generosity.”
Psalm 37:5-6, 30-31, 39-40
Saint Colette’s Story
Colette did not seek the limelight, but in doing God’s will she certainly attracted a lot of attention. Colette was born in Corbie, France. At 21, she began to follow the Third Order Rule and became an anchoress, a woman walled into a room whose only opening was a window into a church.
After four years of prayer and penance in this cell, she left it. With the approval and encouragement of the pope, she joined the Poor Clares and reintroduced the primitive Rule of St. Clare in the 17 monasteries she established. Her sisters were known for their poverty—they rejected any fixed income—and for their perpetual fast. Colette’s reform movement spread to other countries and is still thriving today. Colette was canonized in 1807.
Colette began her reform during the time of the Great Western Schism (1378-1417) when three men claimed to be pope and thus divided Western Christianity. The 15th century in general was a very difficult one for the Western Church. Abuses long neglected cost the Church dearly in the following century. Colette’s reform indicated the entire Church’s need to follow Christ more closely.
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