October 19, 2021
Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 40 in which the psalmist prays for all who seek God and faithfully wait on God’s salvation:
May all who seek youPsalm 40:17
exult and be glad in you,
And may those who love your salvation
say ever, “The LORD be glorified.”
Luke’s Gospel describes the expectant fidelity God gives us and desires from us. In other words, God waits for us too!
The master of the house was away on a long journey. Likely he would have tried to return home in daylight, because the ancient roads were dark and menacing at night. Perhaps the evening meal was already prepared in anticipation of his arrival. But he does not appear over the distant rise where all the household’s eyes are trained.
You know how they waited. You’ve waited for loved ones coming home in bad weather. You’ve waited for beloved holiday guests when flights are delayed or traffic is snarled.
You watch for headlights cresting down the far road. You listen for the sound of a car door closing. Minutes seem like hours. The perfectly prepared meal cools, and your energy slackens as you pick at the olives and breadsticks.
Sometimes our prayer life feels like that. We do all the things necessary to welcome God’s grace, but instead we feel distant from the Divine Presence. We long for God’s warm blessing over the feast of our life, but God tarries somewhere at the other edge of our hope. We feel like these Gospel servants who wait, exhausted, even into the early morning hours.
But we don’t give up. Our hope remains steadfast because God has promised. And it is in that fidelity that our eyes are opened to realize that God had been present all along — just not looking as we had expected.
It turns out that God is the One who had been waiting… waiting for us to see.
Poetry: Waiting by Leza Lowitz
You keep waiting for something to happen, the thing that lifts you out of yourself, catapults you into doing all the things you've put off the great things you're meant to do in your life, but somehow never quite get to. You keep waiting for the planets to shift the new moon to bring news, the universe to align, something to give. Meanwhile, the pile of papers, the laundry, the dishes, the job – it all stacks up while you keep hoping for some miracle to blast down upon you, scattering the piles to the winds. Sometimes you lie in bed, terrified of your life. Sometimes you laugh at the privilege of waking. But all the while, life goes on in its messy way. And then you turn forty. Or fifty. Or sixty... and some part of you realizes you are not alone and you find signs of this in the animal kingdom when a snake sheds its skin its eyes glaze over, it slinks under a rock, not wanting to be touched, and when caterpillar turns to butterfly if the pupa is brushed, it will die – and when the bird taps its beak hungrily against the egg it's because the thing is too small, too small, and it needs to break out. And midlife walks you into that wisdom that this is what transformation looks like – the mess of it, the tapping at the walls of your life, the yearning and writhing and pushing, until one day, one day you emerge from the wreck embracing both the immense dawn and the dusk of the body, glistening, beautiful just as you are.
Music: A country tune today, maybe overly simple. But I find some country music has a profound nugget of truth buried in the twang. I hope you can enjoy it.
He Was There All the Time ~ Gary S. Paxton