Bigger on the Inside

Reflection from Sr. Rosemary Finnegan, O.P.

The story is told of a man walking around the county fair grounds when he spotted a little girl working on an enormous spiral of cotton candy.  He was amused and said to her: ‘Young lady, that cotton candy is bigger than you are!  How is a little girl like you going to eat all of that?’  Without missing a beat, she said, ‘But I am much bigger on the inside…’

When Jesus is speaking to the crowds and disciples today about the insincerity of the Pharisees, he wants these ordinary people to know that he believed that they were ‘bigger on the inside’.  He’s teaching them that the key to the spiritual life is not the law, the food we eat, or the rules and regs we follow, but rather, a spirit filled heart of humble, loving service to others.  Jesus told us today: ‘The greatest among you must be your servant.’  He wants his followers to be ‘bigger on the inside’, to give of themselves, be available when the need arises, and quietly, humbly do the will of God.

We follow the example of Jesus who humbly put us before Himself.  He served us by his life, suffering, and death.  We are his followers and called to be servants by our actions to others.    What opportunities are presented to us each day to serve someone in need?  How are each of us answering Jesus’ call to loving, humble service, especially to the poor?

During this season of Lent, we are once again invited to purify, transform, and enlarge that which is ‘bigger on the inside’, namely, our hearts.  May we practice turning our hearts to God and fashioning them after the heart of Jesus.