Entwined in Faith

Saturday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
September 10, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091022.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, both Paul and Jesus caution their listeners to be single-hearted and resolute in their faith and practice.

Paul tells these early Corinthian Christians not to participate in dinners served at pagan temples. The meat at these meals had been sacrificed to idols so that to participate in the dinner appeared to give approbation to the idolatrous practice.

My beloved ones, avoid idolatry.
I am speaking as to sensible people;
judge for yourselves what I am saying.

….

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons.
You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons.


Paul’s key message is that now this baptized community belongs to a new faith which worships one God through Jesus Christ. Their lives must witness this gift and commitment.

My beloved ones, avoid idolatry.
I am speaking as to sensible people;
judge for yourselves what I am saying.
The cup of blessing that we bless,
is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ?
The bread that we break,
is it not a participation in the Body of Christ?
Because the loaf of bread is one,
we, though many, are one Body,
for we all partake of the one loaf.


In our Gospel, Jesus describes that steadfast witness in terms of a tree. When we are truly knit into the love of God in Jesus Christ, we flourish with God’s own life.

A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
For every tree is known by its own fruit.
For people do not pick figs from thornbushes,
nor do they gather grapes from brambles.
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good,
but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil;
for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.

Each day, each moment, gives us the opportunity to root our lives deeply in our faith. We ask God for that sacred entwining – like a tree which reaches deep into the ground for life, or like a well-founded house whose bedrock is deep and stable.

I will show you what someone is like who comes to me,
listens to my words, and acts on them.
That one is like someone building a house,
who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock;
when the flood came, the river burst against that house
but could not shake it because it had been well built.

Poetry: Love and Harmony – William Blake

This poem is often interpreted to describe the picture of a perfect marriage where love and harmony allow otherwise separate entities to “entwine”. However, Blake was, beyond a poet, a mystic. His poems almost always contain a central analogy of the human relationship with the Divine. I think this poem does as well and can be read as a type of prayer to be fully entwined with God, in love and harmony.

Love and harmony combine,
And round our souls entwine
While thy branches mix with mine,
And our roots together join.
Joys upon our branches sit,
Chirping loud and singing sweet;
Like gentle streams beneath our feet
Innocence and virtue meet.
Thou the golden fruit dost bear,
I am clad in flowers fair;
Thy sweet boughs perfume the air,
And the turtle buildeth there.
There she sits and feeds her young,
Sweet I hear her mournful song;
And thy lovely leaves among,
There is love, I hear his tongue.
There his charming nest doth lay,
There he sleeps the night away;
There he sports along the day,
And doth among our branches play.

Music: The Memory of Trees- Enya

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