Thursday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 90 whose selected verses for today present three brilliant images for our prayer.

The image of an eternal God, who spins time like the threads of a dream:

You turn us back to the dust and say,
“Go back, O child of earth.”
For a thousand years in your sight 
are like yesterday when it is past 
and like a watch in the night.
You sweep us away like a dream;
we fade away suddenly like the grass.

Psalm 90: 3-5

The image of us, ordering our days on the great abacus of Grace:

So teach us to number our days aright
that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Return, O Lord; 
how long will you tarry?

Psalm 90:12-13

The image of God, each morning answering our prayer, and we weaving that delicate gift, like fine lace, into the handiwork of our lives

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper our fragile handiwork!

Psalm 90:14,17

These images converge to remind us that time, from our perspective, is brief. But, with God, there is no “time”. God has breathed us forth, a song without end, into an eternal melody of love and joy.

The psalmist prays to honor that indescribable gift of life by making something beautiful of it in the time allotted.

We pray for that too, and are  invited to reflect on Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians in our first reading. This prayer captures what Paul believes to be something beautiful for God:

Now may God our Creator, and our Lord Jesus
direct our way to you,
and may the Lord make you increase
and abound in love for one another and for all,
just as we have for you,
so as to strengthen your hearts, 
to be blameless in holiness before our God and Creator
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.

1 Thessalonians: 3:11-13

Prose: Something Beautiful for God – Mother Teresa

What I can do, you cannot. 
What you can do, I cannot. 
But together we can do 
something beautiful for God.
Yes, you must live life beautifully 
and not allow the spirit of the world 
that makes gods out of power, riches, and pleasure 
make you to forget that 
you have been created for greater things
 – to love and to be loved.

Music: Psalm 90 – Marty Goetz

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