Friday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
September 25, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 43 whose heart reveals the nature of hope and its power to inspire praise.
Wait for God, whom I shall again praise,
my savior and my God.
Psalm 43 is really the completion of Psalm 42, and they form a masterful combination.
According to biblical scholar Carroll Stuhmueller:
The three stanzas of Psalm 42-43 lead listeners and readers through depression, struggle, and hope. The refrain sung at the end of each stanza contains three parts that summarize the attitude of each:
|Why are you cast down, O my soul||Depression|
|and why are you disquieted within me?||Struggle|
|Hope in God Whom I shall again praise,||Hope|
|my Lord and my God.||Praise|
The psalm follows logically after today’s first reading in which the prophet Haggai challenges the people to pick themselves up by the bootstraps and get working on the restoration of the Temple. The prophet proclaims encouragement in God’s name:
For I am with you, says the LORD of hosts.Haggai 2:5
This is the pact that I made with you
when you came out of Egypt,
And my spirit continues in your midst;
do not fear!
Praying with these readings, we may reflect on our own current or past challenges in the light of faith and hope. God is with us now as God always has been, and will be.
We are empowered by that promise to live courageous, generous lives. This is what hope looks like when it is alive in us.
Poetry: Hope – Czeslaw Milosz
Hope is with you when you believe
The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
that sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
That all thing you have ever seen here
Are like a garden looked at from a gate.
You cannot enter. But you're sure it's there.
Could we but look more clearly and wisely
We might discover somewhere in the garden
A strange new flower and an unnamed star.
Some people say that we should not trust our eyes,
That there is nothing, just a seeming,
There are the ones who have no hope.
They think the moment we turn away,
The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
As if snatched up by the hand of thieves.
Music: Angel of Hope – Erik Berglund