Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

April 14, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 34, an exultation in our God who protects and delivers us from harm:

The angel of the LORD encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
    blessed the man who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 34:8-9

Why is it that the Sadducees and Pharisees, as told in our first reading, so strongly resisted the gift of spiritual freedom and life?

We get used to our ways, don’t we? We get stuck in our compensations. We can even reach a point of comfort with things that sap and lessen us – that keep us from being our best selves – as long as we can maintain even a false sense of security and control.

This is what happened to the Pharisees and Sadducees. If they now accepted Jesus, their whole pretend world of domination and abusive power, a world in which they were very comfortable, would be turned upside down!

So they chose not to believe in Love. 

They tried to lock up the call to mercy and justice. They tried to chain Grace in a dungeon. They tried to stifle the cry of the poor so that the Lord wouldn’t hear! 


But, despite their blind efforts, the truth of Psalm 34 endures:

Come, children,listen to me;
I will teach you fear of the LORD.
Who is the man who delights in life,
who loves to see the good days?
Keep your tongue from evil,
your lips from speaking lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are directed toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.

Psalm 34: 12-16

In our Gospel, Jesus gently but firmly teaches Nicodemus that our choice to believe matters:

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.

John 3:16-20

Prose Poetry: from an interview with Ilia Dileo Ilia Delio, a Franciscan Sister of Washington, DC. She holds the Josephine C Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University, and is he author of seventeen books, several of which have won awards.

You know, love is always a little tipsy.
If you’re really ecstatically in love, 
you are always a little bit falling over yourself 
and God is that.
God is the absolute being in love 
and always a little tipsy, 
falling over God’s self to share that love with an other. 
That dynamic engagement of God 
in the personal beingness of life, 
in the person of Jesus Christ -
if we bring in Jesus as that fullest manifestation of God’s love
in our own lives.
This is right from Pseudo-Dionysius, the 5th century writer 
who spoke of God as being superly drunk, drunk with love. 
That’s the kind of God we are dealing with here. 
Not some kind of the philosopher God, 
not the mechanical God, not a self-thinking, thought God…
This is a God who is drunk with love. 
Spilling over in love for us. 
And that’s what we are called to be. 
As image of God we are to be drunk with love, 
spilling over in our lives to be love in relation to another.
Every thing that exists, 
every person, every being, every creature 
every star, every lepton, every little cell
is a little word of the word of God...
God speaking that divine word of love 
throughout the rich variety of creation.

Music: God So Loved the World

God so loved the world

So loved the world

So loved the world

That He gave His only son

That He gave His only son

God so loved the world

That everyone who would believe

Who believed in His only son

Shall have everlasting life

For God sent not his son into the world

To condemn the world

But God so loved the world

That through His son the world might be saved

The world might be saved (the world might be saved)

The world might be saved

God so loved the world (so loved)

So loved the world (so loved)

So loved the world (that He)

That He gave His only son (only son)

That He gave His only son (only son)

That everyone who would believe (believe)

Believe in Him

Who would believe in Him

Would have everlasting life

Would have everlasting

Life (everlasting life)

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