I was down on the National Mall yesterday to be a part of something new...a new day. They are estimating the crowds on the Mall alone (not the parade route) to be between 1.8 million and 2.1 million. Being in the midst of that many people, I can attest that they might be underestimating.
I do not handle those kinds of crowd situations all that well, but yesterday was different, the crowds were different. There was such great joy, expectation and satisfaction emanating from that mass of humanity that I did not witness any fractiousness. Even when we were moving along like lemmings, not sure where the crowd was pushing us, there was no sense of dismay. I did exhibit some of my NY crowd movement skills, leading my two friends through the crowds at a slightly quicker pace than those around us (a skill developed from many years of Manhattan living).
Such a very large crowd gathered around...... That is how our Gospel reading begins today, Such a very large crowd gathered around. I am not putting the mantle of Messiah on our new President, but I am drawing an analogy to yesterday's event and the crowds that would assemble around Jesus. For those crowds 2000 years ago knew there was something new here, something different in what this man was saying, something they thirsted to hear, to experience firsthand. Those same words are true for President Obama: people are thirsting for a change, for a different course to be taken by our country. We all need to pray that this man can lead us to a way that can effectuate such a change in a meaningful and lasting way.
And this leads me to ask: What is it in our personal lives that we feel the need to change? Where are we asking to be led? How can we help lead people to the One who has loved us from the start of our individual lives? Why can't we accept that love and bring others to it as well?
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.