Thursday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
October 14, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 130 which promises that, even when we are in the depths, God offers us “the fullness of redemption”.
Let Israel hope in the LORD,Psalm 130:7
For with the LORD is mercy,
and plenteous redemption.
For Paul in our first reading today, who is preaching a universal salvation in Jesus Christ, those “depths” are sin:
For there is no distinction; (between Jew and Gentile)Romans 3:2-24
all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.
Paul then declares a core teaching of the New Covenant
They are justified freely by God’s graceRomans 3:24
through the redemption in Christ Jesus…
Paul is preaching to a community in which a few “boasters” have surfaced – people who felt they could reinterpret and codify the Gospel their own way – like the Pharisees and lawyers do with the Mosaic Law in our reading from Luke today .
Paul is correcting that falsehood. He uses a lot of words to explicate the Gospel’s core tenet of universal redemption by grace. But for me, they are “theology words” not “prayer words”.
What I choose to pray with is this awesome truth:
The people in today’s Gospel refused to recognize and accept that all-defining gift. If they had, everything about their lives would have been transformed. And worse yet, by their exalted positions as scholars and leaders, they used their power to block others from learning about and receiving this Transcendent Grace.
In every generation, there are “religionists” who decide what elements of doctrine satisfy their own needs and desires. They preach that fragmented and divisive catechism to advance their self-serving agendas. They design laws which inhibit rather than assist people in opening their spirits to God’s merciful fullness.
Our readings today call us rise from the depths of any such inhibitions:
- to cherish the gift of our redemption in Christ
- to meditate on and educate ourselves in a true understanding of that gift
- to test ourselves for an honest and inclusive faith rooted in the righteousness of God
Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law,Romans 3:21
though testified to by the law and the prophets,
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ
for all who believe.
Poetry: CONSUMED IN GRACE – Catherine of Siena
From ‘Love Poems From God‘ by Daniel Ladinsky.
I first saw God when I was a child, six years of age.
the cheeks of the sun were pale before Him,
and the earth acted as a shy
girl, like me.
Divine light entered my heart from His love
that did never fully wane,
though indeed, dear, I can understand how a person’s
faith can at time flicker,
for what is the mind to do
with something that becomes the mind’s ruin:
a God that consumes us
in His grace.
I have seen what you want;
it is there,
a Beloved of infinite
Music: Amazing Grace – written by John Newton, sung by Il Divo