Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy,  we read from James who writes elegantly to his community. He reminds them and us that all gifts originate in our changeless, loving God Who breathed us into life from Infinite and Lavish Mercy.

Then James just so simply enjoins us:

  • So hear God’s Word of Love in your hearts
  • Be good by doing good for the afflicted

James says that doing this is
“religion pure and undefined”.

James 1:27

In our Gospel, Jesus reinforces this truth. The Pharisees want to condemn Jesus and the disciples for breaking a ritual hand-washing rule. Jesus says those human rules are lip-worship. What God wants is a loving and sincere heart proven by loving and sincere deeds.

On this last Sunday of August, let us rejoice in the gifts God has given us- life, faith, the ability to love and hope. Let us reach out by prayer and service to those who might be blessed by our sharing. 

That reach can be so simple: a smile, a phone call, a small courtesy, a solitary prayer. Or it can be huge: a long-delayed forgiveness, a turning from unhealthy or unholy behaviors, a commitment to faith and service. We ask the Creator of Lights to inspire us.

Poetry – excerpt from George MacDonald’s poem “Light”. I’ll post the entire poem separately today – long and very beautiful. Many of you may enjoy it.

Gentle winds through forests calling;
    Big waves on the sea-shore falling;
    Bright birds through the thick leaves glancing;
    Light boats on the big waves dancing;
    Children in the clear pool laving;
    Mountain streams glad music giving;
    Yellow corn and green grass waving;
    Long-haired, bright-eyed maidens living;
    Light on all things, even as now--
    God, our Father, it is Thou!
    Light, O Radiant! thou didst come abroad,
    To mediate 'twixt our ignorance and God;
    Forming ever without form;
    Showing, but thyself unseen;
    Pouring stillness on the storm;
    Making life where death had been!
    If thou, Light, didst cease to be,
    Death and Chaos soon were out,
    Weltering o'er the slimy sea,
    Riding on the whirlwind's rout;
    And if God did cease to be,
    O Beloved! where were we?
Father of Lights, pure and unspeakable,
    On whom no changing shadow ever fell!
    Thy light we know not, are content to see;
    And shall we doubt because we know not Thee?
    Or, when thy wisdom cannot be expressed,
    Fear lest dark vapors dwell within thy breast?
    Nay, nay, ye shadows on our souls descending!
    Ye bear good witness to the light on high,
    Sad shades of something 'twixt us and the sky!
    And this word, known and unknown radiant blending,
    Shall make us rest, like children in the night,--
    Word infinite in meaning: God is Light.
    We walk in mystery all the shining day
    Of light unfathomed that bestows our seeing,
    Unknown its source, unknown its ebb and flow:
    Thy living light's eternal fountain-play
    In ceaseless rainbow pulse bestows our being--
    Its motions, whence or whither, who shall know?
    O Light, if I had said all I could say
    Of thy essential glory and thy might,
    Something within my heart unsaid yet lay,
    And there for lack of words unsaid must stay:
    For God is Light.

Music: Every Good Gift ~ One:A Worship Collective

Every good gift flows from Your heart, O God.

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