Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Today, in Mercy, our Responsorial Verse captures the essence of all the readings:
It’s one of those scripture passages that makes one want to say, “Oh, really? Is that all?”
Because, you know, it’s a pretty tall order to remain faithful until death. Sometimes it’s a real pinch to remain faithful for a week!
Remember that exercise bike you bought in January 1999? Yeah, that one with your yoga pants, umbrella, and assorted gift bags hanging on it.
Or what about that South Beach diet book you’re using to prop open the closet door? How did all that faithfulness work out?
So, given our very human condition, what is the “faithfulness” these readings enjoin?
I believe it is not a faithfulness that never fails. Rather, it tries. When it does fail, it believes in and seeks forgiveness. It trusts, even in its weakness. It is grateful, abiding, and loving. It is not afraid to begin again and again, because our faithfulness depends on God’s mercy not our strength.
When we were young nuns making our final vows, this phrase was part of our commitment:
“… and to persevere, until death …”
One of our wise leaders, Mother Bernard, told us, “Don’t pray for final perseverance. Pray to be worthy of it.”
I think we become worthy of it by that trusting faithfulness which turns again and again into Mercy’s waiting, understanding arms. It is a faithfulness that fully believes these words from the Book of Lamentations:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
God’s mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
so great is your faithfulness.
Music: Great Is Thy Faithfulness – Dan Moen