Thursday, September 16, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 111. Prayed in tandem with our first reading from 1 Timothy, the psalm directs our hearts to an awareness of the gifts we have received in faith.
We are all “gifted” by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes if someone tells us that we’re “gifted”, they are really referring to special talents we may have developed – like art, music, dance, writing etc.
But the gifts our readings highlight are those which are rooted in the Holy Spirit, and we receive them through our Baptism and Confirmation.
Paul tells Timothy not to neglect these gifts. And the psalmist suggests that the first step in such care is the practice of awe, wisdom and prudence.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;Psalm 111:10
prudent are all who live by it.
His praise endures forever.
We can’t just practice these gifts for an hour or two as we might practice piano!
The prophet Isaiah was the first to list the Gifts of the Holy Spirit when he described the coming Messiah:
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;Isaiah 11:1-3
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
We are baptized in the image of Christ. These same gifts flow, in a waterfall of grace, into our spirits. May we receive and respond!
Poetry: God’s Grandeur – Gerard Manel Hopkins
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.