Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 28, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 99, one of the six “enthronement psalms” which celebrate God as King.

The psalm is filled with awestruck sentiment such as one might feel before a king:

From the pillar of cloud God spoke to them;
    they heard the decrees and the law God gave them.
Extol the LORD, our God,
    and worship at the holy mountain;
    for holy is the LORD, our God.

Psalm 99:6-9

The images evoked are similar to those of our first reading with Moses’ face shining from his meetings with God:

As Moses came down from Mount Sinai
with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands,
he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant
while he conversed with the LORD.

Exodus 34:29

The neat thing about all this glory is that a very tender human image nestles in the wording:

… worship at God’s footstool;
   for God is holy!

Psalm 99:5

Imagine the Beloved’s footstool – some precious place in the universe that invites you to God’s side. For someone it may be beside the ocean. For another it may be a quiet glen. It may be at your window listening to the sparrow’s morning song.

Wherever it is in the glorious universe, we are welcomed to rest with God at the peaceful footstool. We are free to speak as easily with God as Moses did in the little Sinai tent. And no doubt, we will receive a certain radiance, perhaps not so visible as Moses’. But we will be changed by such prayer.

Poetry: Here is Thy Footstool – Rabindranath Tagore 

HERE IS THY footstool and there rest thy feet 
where live the poorest, and lowliest, and lost.
When I try to bow to thee, 
my obeisance cannot reach down to the depth 
where thy feet rest among the poorest, and lowliest, and lost.
Pride can never approach to where thou walkest 
in the clothes of the humble among the poorest, and lowliest, and lost.
My heart can never find its way 
to where thou keepest company with the companionless 
among the poorest, the lowliest, and the lost.

Music: Resting Place – Daphne Rademaker

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