Sunday, August 8, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings capture the essence of life in God through Christ.
The first reading from Kings tells how Elijah, after eating the food God had provided him, was able to endure the long journey to God’s mountain. There, the sweetest whisper carried to Elijah the voice of God!
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus makes clear that no one makes that journey into the heart of God unless God calls us. But Jesus says that the invitation is given to all who believe. He says that, just as with Elijah, the Father gives us food – Jesus himself – the bread of life.
The second reading from Ephesians says that we have already “been sealed for the day of redemption through the Holy Spirit.” Paul says that, given this amazing gift, we have only one job:
So be imitators of God, as beloved children,
and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.
We are so accustomed to hearing these astounding passages that we may miss how astounding they really are. But Macrina Wiederkehr says:
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the great Jesuit mystical theologian, upon reading these passages, saw the mystery of the Body of Christ. He saw our call to be the heart of Christ in the world. He saw Christ’s promise to become one with us in Eucharist. He saw that, through this Infinite Love played out in our ordinary lives, God continues to redeem Creation.
Poetry: Love after Love by Derek Walcott
The time will come when with elation
you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome
and say, sit here, eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self
Give wine, give bread.
Give back your heart to itself,
to the stranger who has loved you all your life
whom you ignored for another
who knows you by heart
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Music: Quintessence – Spencer Brewer
May this lovely instrumental piece help take us to a deeply prayerful place as we contemplate God’s gift in Jesus.