I took the opportunity Friday to run near the Tidal Basin in Washington. As I ran, I had the opportunity to reflect on all the great Americans who are memorialized in the grand and beautiful monuments that surround the visitor to the capital city. I thought about what makes people great, important, and worth remembering. Would we forget these human beings if there were no piles of marble and stone dedicated to their memory? And I realized that, yes, given all of the things that each of us learn, there are probably many more things that we forget, including other people and their heroic and exemplary deeds.
The monuments we build hold up for us the models of human greatness that have gone before us. But they can also serve to make us feel small and insignificant. There will be very little left behind to mark the passage of most of us through this life on earth.
But the Lord, who we know is the greatest One of all, who is God, holds up for us who know our littleness the way to be great: He says we must seek to be the last. Now, that doesn’t sound great at all, to be the last and the least. How will doing so enable us to leave a mark on the lives of others, and to make the world a better place?
For the full text of homily for 22d Sunday in Ordinary Time, please visit A Priest Life ((((..))))