Famous, powerful women hang out with other famous, powerful people.  

Michelle Obama or Ivanka Trump might volunteer at a soup kitchen on Christmas, but usually, they’re speaking to captains of industry, lobbying wealthy donors, or attending cocktail parties with the bold and beautiful. 

Famous, powerful, important women associate with their peers.

Except one.

One famous, powerful woman never chooses the society of the chic and stylish. This exceptional woman chose to appear instead in the dress of an unassuming Indian in Mexico, barefoot before a shoeless peasant in Lourdes, and to some child shepherds from Fatima as their mother.

The Blessed Virgin is the most famous, most powerful, and most important woman ever and yet she alone among all the Helens of Troy or Cleopatras of history never mingles with the mighty nor socializes with the sophisticated.  

Because Our Lady doesn’t follow fashion, she follows Jesus. And Jesus prefers the periphery to the powerful. Those on the periphery, those on the ragged fringes of society touched only the frayed fringe of Jesus’ robes.

While those in power would grab Him by the collar and strip the robes off His back, the ragged fringe of society trembled to touch the frayed fringe of His robes because they knew Jesus always preferred the periphery to the powerful. Jesus wasn’t born in Rome, the center of empire, he was born homeless and became a refugee.

Nor did He die in Jerusalem, the center of worship; He died naked outside the gates. He never chose to visit Herod or Caiaphas although they chose to drag Him before them.

Jesus chose all the people we’d rather avoid: Beggars, lepers, prostitutes. 

Thus, If we don’t follow fashion, but follow Jesus, we follow He Who even when naked was robed in majesty. Remember that the clothes hogs dressed up in their glamour were the only ones Jesus ever dressed down.

Because clothes don’t make the man; God made man, and the Son of Man never dressed to kill, but always dressed to die for all the hand-me-downs in society. In the end, we’re all dressed for the same occasion—death. And the humble who feel only worthy to touch the hem of his robes will ride his coattails into resurrection.

~ Fr. Kenneth Davis OFM

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