Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
November 27, 2020
Book of Revelation 20:1-4, 11-21:2; Psalm 84:3, 6, 8; Luke 21:29-33
It is said that Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), the genius of the Renaissance art world, would study a slab of marble before he began sculpting it. History relates to us that a giant eighteen-foot long slab of marble was delivered to a warehouse in which the master artist sat in front of for three days without eating or sleeping. One of his benefactors finally asked him, "What are you doing?" Michelangelo looked at him and whispered, "Sto lavorando," meaning, "I'm working." Three years later, that huge block of marble became the magnificent statue of David.
Michelangelo would take time to study and examine the stone so that he would be able to understand the flaws in the marble. It was only when he could see and accept the flaws that he would see the stone's potential and could begin his work, letting the characteristics and imperfections of the marble lead him in creating his next work of art, a masterpiece often designed to glorify God.
In today's gospel narrative, Jesus talks about the buds on a tree as a sign that summer is near. It doesn't mean that summer has come, or that the buds have borne fruit, or that the work of nature is done. It simply means that the bud is a sign of summer, a sign of life that will be coming if only we continue to nurture the life of the tree.
We aren't creatures that are complete either. Like the tree bud, we are invited to wait with trust and hope for the fruit that will come in the future. We may not even be aware that our flaws are an opportunity for grace or that the buds in our lives are the places where God has touched us with life, waiting patiently for us to recognize God's hand in our creation.
If only all of this was that easy for us! We usually do not see any potential in our failings but instead fight these imperfections by denying them, ignoring them, or wishing they didn't exist so that our flaws are our downfall. But God, the artistic creator, doesn't see us that way at all. God invites us to accept and learn from our flaws and imperfections and understand them, use them as the potential to create a life that, like Michelangelo's masterpieces, glorifies God.
Thought for the Day: Please read Matthew Chapter 7:1-5
Prayer: O God, grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.