Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
November 16, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we move deeper into the final weeks of Ordinary Time. Our readings continue to offer us images about what it will be like at the end of time.
In our passage from Revelation, we are given an ornate and exuberant description of how the author envisions God’s “headquarters”, so to speak. With all its gems and thrones and crowns and flaming torches, the passage can be a little overwhelming. But what is the core message? I think it is this:
God is the Splendid Creator. Despite time’s destruction, Creation will be ultimately perfected by our Perfect God. Believing this, we are called to awe-filled worship and gratitude, as spoken in these two verses from the passage:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,Revelation 4:8
who was, and who is, and who is to come.”
“Worthy are you, Lord our God,Revelation 4:11
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things;
because of your will they came to be and were created.”
Today’s Gospel about the talents reminds us that we each have been given particular gifts with which to build up God’s Creation. Like the watchful Master, God expects – and needs – us to use these gifts, and to increase their value by sharing them with our sisters and brothers.
Sometimes we think we have no real gifts to give. But the witness of a simple, faithful, generous life is beyond price.
We may want to spend some prayer time reflecting on the many gifts we have been given – by God and by those who love us, and how we might offer these in worship to our Splendid Generous God.
Poetry: Advice to a Prophet – Richard Wilbur (1921 – 2017) was an American poet and literary translator. One of the foremost poets of his generation, Wilbur’s work, composed primarily in traditional forms, was marked by its wit, charm, and gentlemanly elegance. He was appointed the second Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1987 and received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry twice, in 1957 and 1989.
In Wilbur’s poem, we get a different vision of what the end of times might be like, and how we might respond to the prophet who describes such times.
When you come, as you soon must, to the streets of our city, Mad-eyed from stating the obvious, Not proclaiming our fall but begging us In God's name to have self-pity, Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range, The long numbers that rocket the mind; Our slow, unreckoning hearts will be left behind, Unable to fear what is too strange. Nor shall you scare us with talk of the death of the race. How should we dream of this place without us?— The sun mere fire, the leaves untroubled about us, A stone look on the stone's face? Speak of the world's own change. Though we cannot conceive Of an undreamt thing, we know to our cost How the dreamt cloud crumbles, the vines are blackened by frost, How the view alters. We could believe, If you told us so, that the white-tailed deer will slip Into perfect shade, grown perfectly shy, The lark avoid the reaches of our eye, The jack-pine lose its knuckled grip On the cold ledge, and every torrent burn As Xanthus once, its gliding trout Stunned in a twinkling. What should we be without The dolphin's arc, the dove's return, These things in which we have seen ourselves and spoken? Ask us, prophet, how we shall call Our natures forth when that live tongue is all Dispelled, that glass obscured or broken In which we have said the rose of our love and the clean Horse of our courage, in which beheld The singing locust of the soul unshelled, And all we mean or wish to mean. Ask us, ask us whether with the worldless rose Our hearts shall fail us; come demanding Whether there shall be lofty or long standing When the bronze annals of the oak-tree close.
Music: We Have Gifts to Share – Susan Kay Wyatts – This is a childlike song, but the point is profound. For those with young children and Grands, you might like to share this song with them.