Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 85, a prayer celebrating what God will accomplish through a listening heart:

I will listen to what you, Lord God, are saying,
for you are speaking peace to your faithful people 
and to those who turn their hearts to you.
Truly, your salvation is very near to those who fear you, 
that your glory may dwell in our land.

Psalm 85: 8-9

Our psalm flows naturally from our first reading in which Gideon listens to God’s messenger who has a nice visit with him under a terebinth tree. In scripture, many great revelations and conversions happen under trees and bushes – for example, consider the stories of Moses, Jacob, and Ezekiel.

Gideon and the Angel of the Lord by Julius Schnorr Von Carolsfeld

Gideon’s Angel is patient, lingering in the shade while Gideon lets the lamb (and the angel’s suggestion) stew a while in the quiet. It’s like that sometimes when we are trying to listen to God. We need a little time to hear through our circumstances to the real Word God is whispering to us.


It helps sometimes to go among the trees where angels always seem to nestle. It helps sometimes to mull over grace as we simmer a fragrant stew. It helps sometimes to quietly work a knitting needle or finger a rosary’s cool beads.

It helps to take a little time, a little silence
and let God speak to us.


The range of Divine sound may be as gentle as a soft kiss, so that we must listen with a delicate heart. Or it may be as loud as an exploding volcano, so that we must resist the temptation to hold our ears:

Kindness and truth shall meet;
    justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall erupt from the earth,
    and justice shall look down from heaven.

Psalm 85: 11-12

However God wants to speak in our lives today,
let’s invite that transforming Word.
And let’s not only hear, but listen.

Poetry: God’s Word – Hildegard of Bingin

The Word is living, 
being, 
spirit, 
all verdant greening, 
all creativity. 
This Word 
manifests itself 
in every creature.

Music: Whisper – Jason Upton

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