Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
July 21, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Jeremiah images Israel as a bride, the sacred betrothed of God:
I remember the devotion of your youth,Jeremiah 2: 1-3
how you loved me as a bride,
Following me in the desert,
in a land unsown.
Sacred to the LORD was Israel,
the first fruits of his harvest;
Should any presume to partake of them,
evil would befall them, says the LORD.
These passionate verses portray a heartbroken and angry God lamenting Israel’s ingratitude and unfaithfulness.
Be amazed at this, O heavens,Jeremiah 2:12-13
and shudder with sheer horror, says the LORD.
Two evils have my people done:
they have forsaken me, the source of living waters;
They have dug themselves cisterns,
broken cisterns, that hold no water.
This reading from Jeremiah is about a loss of innocence, and the spiritual fragmentation it can bring. Our Alleluia Verse, on the other hand, leads to a Gospel that proclaims the restoration of an “eternal innocence” rooted in “knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven”.
Blessed are you, God,
Creator of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones
the mysteries of the Kingdom.
There is a human innocence that comes from not knowing any better, a kind of blind trust that hasn’t yet been “burned”.
But don’t confuse “innocence” with naïveté.
The Gospel innocence Jesus describes isn’t blind and it isn’t naive. It does know better. It recognizes and chooses the cost of a faithful life. That recognition and choice yield a profound spiritual freedom that is the ultimate innocence.
Blessed are your eyes, because they see,Matthew 13: 16-17
and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
Poetry: The Divine Image – William Blake
To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love, All pray in their distress, And to these virtues of delight Return their thankfulness. For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love, Is God our Father dear And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love, Is man, his child and care. For Mercy has a human heart ; Pity, a human face ; And Love, the human form divine ; And Peace, the human dress. Then every man, of every clime, That prays in his distress, Prays to the human form divine : Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace. And all must love the human form, In heathen, Turk, or Jew, Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell, There God is dwelling too.
Music: U2 – A Song for Someone from Songs of Innocence
When you listen to this highly poetic song, could God be your “someone”?
One thought on “Alleluia: Innocence!”
LikeLiked by 1 person