Thursday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 118 (Confitemini Domino), part of the Hallel. Hallel consists of six Psalms (113–118), which are recited as a unit, on joyous occasions such as Passover.
This joy arises from the core belief
and experiential evidence that
“God’s Mercy endures forever”.
Give thanks to the LORD, Who is good,Psalm 118: 1-2
Whose mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“God’s mercy endures forever.”
Looking at the entire psalm, we see the prayer of a person delivered from enemies, one who has taken refuge in the Lord. And the Lord has responded both in protection and abiding relationship.
Our Gospel story of the woman with the alabaster jar reiterates this theme. Surely this woman is beset by enemies, both within and without. Ultimately, grace moves her to take refuge at the feet of Jesus’s Mercy. She does this by breaking through any inhibiting tradition in order to offer Jesus her own intimate act of tenderness. Moved, Jesus reciprocates.
As we seek to be fully embraced in God’s Lavish Mercy, what “ointments”, held too long, must we pour out to God. What illusions do we cling to convincing us we have no need for repentance, forgiveness, transformation?
What little jars of selfishness, pride, or arrogance keep us from fully giving and receiving Mercy?
In my distress, I poured my heart out to the LORD;Psalm 118: 13-14
the LORD answered me and set me free.
The LORD is with me now, I am not afraid;
darkness has no power against me.
Poem: Mended by Annie Villiers
This is the place where souls come
To be mended where
Tatty ends of unfinished business
Or business unravelled
Are drawn together and tenderly
Seen only by the weaver
Whose loving fingers
Repair the frangible fabric of lives.
Music: Confitemini Domino – Taize Community
Confitemini Domino, quoniam bonus,
quoniam in sæculum misericordia ejus.
O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious,
because his mercy endureth for ever.