Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
November 27, 2020
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 84, a praise and pilgrimage hymn.
It is a perfect prayer for us if we have any small sense of alienation, loss, or confusion in our own pilgrimage.
And, honestly, who doesn’t!?
Even in the best of times, life can be a twist! And in pandemic times, politically charged times, economically shaky times??? Never a better time to say, “God help us!”
But Psalm 84 orients us. It announces what the journey is really about … the desire to find a resting place in God. Once we realize that, the road slowly straightens with the power of faith.
In Psalm 84, the pilgrim’s heart, hungry for God, sets out on the spiritual journey.
My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
There can be a deep trust in our journeying heart because “even the sparrow” finds a home in God’s tender care.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young–
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
The secret, though, is constancy.:
- We pilgrims must stay with the essence of our journey – the deep desire for God.
- We must listen to scripture’s “directions” about where God dwells – with the poor, humble, and merciful.
- We must not let the flashy road signs of the “Me Culture” distract us.
“The Narcissism Epidemic,”
by psychologists Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell
studies the increase of narcissism or “me-ism” in our culture.
Here’s an excerpt:
Although these seem like a random collection of current trends, all are rooted in a single underlying shift in the American psychology: the relentless rise of narcissism in our culture. Not only are there more narcissists than ever, but non-narcissistic people are seduced by the increasing emphasis on material wealth, physical appearance, celebrity worship, and attention seeking. Standards have shifted, sucking otherwise humble people into the vortex of granite countertops, tricked-out MySpace pages, and plastic surgery. A popular dance track repeats the words “money, success, fame, glamour” over and over, declaring that all other values have “either been discredited or destroyed.”
Let’s pray today for “staying power”. We have been given the grace to seek God in our lives. Let’s dwell in that seeking, moving from strength to strength in any twists life tosses in front of us.
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed are we whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.
Poetry: The Journey – Tagore
The morning sea of silence broke into ripples of bird songs;
and the flowers were all merry by the roadside;
and the wealth of gold was scattered through the rift of the clouds
while we busily went on our way and paid no heed.
We sang no glad songs nor played;
we went not to the village for barter;
we spoke not a word nor smiled;
we lingered not on the way.
We quickened our pace more and more as the time sped by.
The sun rose to the mid sky and doves cooed in the shade.
Withered leaves danced and whirled in the hot air of noon.
The shepherd boy drowsed and dreamed in the shadow of the banyan tree,
and I laid myself down by the water
and stretched my tired limbs on the grass.
My companions laughed at me in scorn;
they held their heads high and hurried on;
they never looked back nor rested;
they vanished in the distant blue haze.
They crossed many meadows and hills,
and passed through strange, far-away countries.
All honor to you, heroic host of the interminable path!
Mockery and reproach pricked me to rise,
but found no response in me.
I gave myself up for lost
in the depth of a glad humiliation
—in the shadow of a dim delight.
The repose of the sun-embroidered green gloom
slowly spread over my heart.
I forgot for what I had traveled,
and I surrendered my mind without struggle
to the maze of shadows and songs.
At last, when I woke from my slumber and opened my eyes,
I saw thee standing by me, flooding my sleep with thy smile.
How I had feared that the path was long and wearisome,
and the struggle to reach thee was hard!
Music: How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place – Jesuit Music