Clothed in Grace and Kindness

Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
October 8, 2022

Today’s Readings:

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Paul continues opening the minds and hearts of the Galatians to their new Christian identity. It is one inspired and impelled by faith rather than by mere observance of laws.

There are times when all religions, and some of their followers, still struggle with this truth. External observance is sometimes invoked as a measure of holiness or faithfulness. But law will never trump Love.

Just as in any human relationship, we cannot measure love and devotion by external signs. We can send a beloved bushels of flowers, but if our heart is distracted and lukewarm those flowers are a mockery.

Our Gospel tells us that the true measure of our devotion is how responsive we are to God’s Word – how “clothed” we are in Christ. The Psalm today invites us to “glory in God’s Holy Name”. We are to rest our souls in God, the way we might sink our sore body into a warm, healing bath. We are to “clothe” ourselves in the portion of God’s glory inherited through our Baptism.

I absolutely love the picture I’m sharing today. My grand-nephew stands in a stream of refreshing water, totally clothed in freedom, delighted and joyful. 

Ps 105_RG Glory

We stand in such a fountain of God’s infinite love and grace. May we glory in it, be healed by it, be enlivened by it, be a living blessing because of it.

Poetry: Kindness -Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

Music: A precious song by John Nuttall – I Delight in You

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