Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr
June 28, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our Alleluia Verse, like so many of the Psalms, encourages us to TRUST.
“24” was an action-packed show popular a couple of decades ago. In that TV series, the protagonist was played by a tough Kiefer Sutherland. Iconic to each episode was his repeated assurance to his allies, “Trust me”. Doing so would supposedly get them out of every possible kind of fix!
Trusting him usually brought a few hairy escapes, gunfights and explosions. And I guess it can feel like that sometimes when we think we trust God. But it shouldn’t.
Our readings this week from the prophet Amos portray a morally confused community who are tumbling toward God’s wrath. The prophet uses stunning imagery to declare his warning and to call the people to a repentance which acts for justice toward the poor and suffering.
The prophet speaks in imagery. The point is not a literal one. The point, rather, is to recognize that the cost of a disordered public life is inescapably very great. The cost cannot be denied or understated.Walter Brueggemann
We too as a global community, and as individuals, are called to live lives ordered on God’s Law – lives patterned on justice, mercy, and love for all people.
How do you think we’re doing with that? I think Amos would have preaching tirade if he lived in our day!
But as our Alleluia Verse and our Gospel indicate, a first step toward redemption is TRUST. God is with us. Jesus is “in our boat”. These passages encourage us to get to know, understand, and trust God’s Presence through growing familiarity with the Word.
Once our spirits rest in this kind of assurance, we will have the freedom and courage not only to face ourselves, but to act for true justice, mercy, and love for every person.
Poetry: Poem 8 – Hadewijch of Antwerp, a 13th century mystic and poet.
Born is the new season as the old one that lasted so long is drawing to a close.
Those prepared to do love’s service will receive her rewards: new comfort and new strength.
If they love her with the vigor of love, they will soon be one with love in love.
To be one with love is an awesome calling and those who long for it should spare no effort.
Beyond all reason they will give their all and go through all.
For love dwells so deep in the womb of the Father that her power will unfold only to those who serve her with utter devotion.
First the lover must learn charity and keep God’s law.
Then he shall be blessed a hundredfold, and he shall do great things without great effort, and bear all pain without suffering.
And so his life will surpass human reason indeed.
Those who long to be one with love achieve great things, and shirk no effort.
They shall be strong and capable of any task that will win them the love of love, to help the sick or the healthy, the blind, the crippled or the wounded.
For this is what the lover owes to love.
He shall help the strangers and give to the poor and soothe the suffering whenever he can.
He shall pay loyal service to God’s friends, to saints and men, with a strength that is not human, by night and by day.
And when his strength seems to falter he will still place his trust in love.
Those who trust in love with all their being shall be given all they need.
For she brings comfort to the sad and guidance to those who cannot read.
Love will be pleased with the lover if he accepts no other comfort and trusts in her alone.
Those who desire to live in love alone with all their might and heart shall so dispose all things that they shall soon possess her all.
Music: Sleep in the Storm – by Unspoken Music
(Captures the essence of today’s Gospel where Jesus sleeps in a gusty storm – TRUST!)