Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
November 26, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we come to the end of our readings from Revelation. ( I can hear a few of you muttering, “Thank goodness!”) They have been challenging, to say the least.
The passage from Luke’s Gospel today is just as confronting. God is serious about wanting our complete love!
Our prayer over these past few days has led us to deeper understanding of a challenging truth: life as we know it will be transformed and we will be judged at the transformation.
But hopefully our reflections have also assured us that the Master and Judge of Life is the same merciful God who forgave and healed the sinful and suffering.
By our faithfulness to this merciful God, we will be redeemed. Revelation puts it this way:
The servants of God
will look upon God’s face,
and God’s name
will be on their foreheads.
When a person is filled with goodness (or evil), we often say it is “written all over her face”. So it is with those who love and long for God and for God’s peaceable kingdom.
God will recognize us at the judgment because our hope and desire for God are written all over our face. And God’s love for us will be written all over that Divine Countenance as we see it clearly for the first time! And once more, as Catherine McAuley might say, “Oh what a joy, even to think of it!”
Poetry: In Memoriam A.H.H. – Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was the Poet Laureate of England during much of Queen Victoria’s reign. A number of phrases from Tennyson’s work have become commonplace in the English language, including “Nature, red in tooth and claw” (“In Memoriam A.H.H.”), “‘Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all”, “Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die”, “My strength is as the strength of ten, / Because my heart is pure”, “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”, “Knowledge comes, but Wisdom lingers”, and “The old order changeth, yielding place to new”. He is the ninth most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
Below is the first section of the poem. It is a requiem for the poet’s beloved Cambridge friend Arthur Henry Hallam, who died suddenly, aged 22. It contains some of Tennyson’s most accomplished lyrical work, and is an unusually sustained exercise in lyric verse. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest poems of the 19th century. (Wikipedia)
Strong Son of God, immortal Love, Whom we, that have not seen thy face, By faith, and faith alone, embrace, Believing where we cannot prove; Thine are these orbs of light and shade; Thou madest Life in man and brute; Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot Is on the skull which thou hast made. Thou wilt not leave us in the dust: Thou madest man, he knows not why, He thinks he was not made to die; And thou hast made him: thou art just. Thou seemest human and divine, The highest, holiest manhood, thou. Our wills are ours, we know not how; Our wills are ours, to make them thine. Our little systems have their day; They have their day and cease to be: They are but broken lights of thee, And thou, O Lord, art more than they. We have but faith: we cannot know; For knowledge is of things we see And yet we trust it comes from thee, A beam in darkness: let it grow. Let knowledge grow from more to more, But more of reverence in us dwell; That mind and soul, according well, May make one music as before, But vaster. We are fools and slight; We mock thee when we do not fear: But help thy foolish ones to bear; Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light. Forgive what seem'd my sin in me; What seem'd my worth since I began; For merit lives from man to man, And not from man, O Lord, to thee. Forgive my grief for one removed, Thy creature, whom I found so fair. I trust he lives in thee, and there I find him worthier to be loved. Forgive these wild and wandering cries, Confusions of a wasted youth; Forgive them where they fail in truth, And in thy wisdom make me wise.
If you would like to read the entire poem, follow this link:
Music: The Face of God – Karen Drucker
3 thoughts on “Face to Face”
Every element of this post spoke to my heart, Renee. Thank you, dear sister.
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God bless you, Mitch, and thank YOU.
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Your mention of Alfred Lord Tennyson reminded me so much of my late father who introduced me to Tennyson, one of his favorite whom I have come to admire too. thank you.