October 29, 2021
Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 147 which calls upon Israel to praise God for gifts received.
God has not done for others what has been done for you;Psalm 147: 20
the Divine Way God has not made known to them. Alleluia.
The psalm gives us deeper insight into our reading from Romans. In Romans, chapters 9-11, Paul focuses on Israel’s quintessential place in the unfolding of salvation history.
In today’s passage, Paul laments the recalcitrance of some of his kin to open their hearts to the Gospel:
I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart.Romans 9: 2-3
For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ
for the sake of my own people,
my kindred according to the flesh.
They are children of Israel…
Paul’s lament is not a condemnation. Rather he mourns the fact that his fellow Israelites, who are uniquely blessed by God, choose not to accept the new and transformative Gift offered them in the person of Jesus Christ.
The lesson for us when praying with this psalm and reading? Perhaps this:
God is always doing something new and wonderful in us and in Creation. God is always inviting us deeper into the relationship of love and mercy.
The path to that sacred depth is laid out for us in the Gospel where we learn to imitate Christ.
Sometimes we too are recalcitrant. We like things to be ordered and controlled, just like today’s Gospel Pharisees liked to control the Sabbath.
But the God of the Sabbath is not to be controlled by our fears, demands, or securities. That God will continue to challenge, invite, surprise, and love us into deeper relationship.
Our work is to stay open and responsive to this dynamic God Whose graces are “new every morning” – in fact, every moment…
Who sends forth the command to the earth;Psalm 147: 15
Whose Word runs swiftly!
Poetry: He Comes Ever Again – Rowan Williams
He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.
He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.
He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.
He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.
Music: Blue Dream – Fiona Jay Hawkins