Memorial of St. Martin of Tours
November 11, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our first reading is from John’s very brief second epistle.
This is a fascinating passage. It is addressed to “Kyria”, Greek for “Lady”. The contents encourage this revered lady to keep herself and her household true to Christ.
But now, Lady, I ask you,2 John 5-6
not as though I were writing a new commandment
but the one we have had from the beginning:
let us love one another.
For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments;
Reading the passage, one wonders who “Kyria” is. At least three theories exist among scholars:
- an actual religious leader
- a metaphor for the Church
- Mary, Mother of Jesus
The letter is beautifully personal in tone, so I like to think that Kyria was, indeed, an influential church leader and John’s beloved friend. So often, the names of early Christian women leaders are lost to history. Whether they were omitted in the original texts, or erased by subsequent misogynistic translators, we can only surmise. But the absence has served to support the misperception that women are of lesser consequence in the Church.
As we read 2 John, we can be aware of the major themes he entrusted to dear “Kyria”, whoever she might have been, to be transmitted to her household:
- Truth is expressed through love, modeled to us in Jesus.
- Obedience to God is expressed through service in God’s name.
- Guard against any who distract you from these teachings.
Poetry: Seek Truth – Rumi
If you never searched for truth
come with us
and you will become a seeker.
If you were never a musician
come with us
and you will find your voice…
In our gathering one candle lights hundreds,
we will light your path and give you courage
so you will open like a flower
and join in joyous laughter.
Plant the seed of truth and watch it grow
when it spreads its branches
come with us and sit under the blossoms.
Your eyes will open to the secret of the truth.
Music: Kyria (Lady) is the feminine form of Kyrie , as in “Kyrie eleison” (Lord, have mercy).
So the music I thought of for today is the magnificent Kyrie Eleison from Charles Gounod’s Mass for St. Cecilia.