Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
August 7, 2020
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray once again with Deuteronomy 32, often referred to as the Psalm of Moses. And once again, our psalm links the heavy messages of our two main readings.
In our first reading from Nahum, the prophet describes Israel’s future restoration after the bloody destruction of Nineveh, chief city of the Assyrian conquerors.
In our Gospel, Jesus foretells his own Passion and Death, and the necessity that his disciples carry their own crosses.
The tenor of both readings is soberly captured in our psalm:
Learn then that I, I alone, am God,
and there is no god besides me.
It is I who bring both death and life,
I who inflict wounds and heal them.
Given the heavy, stormy morning here where I live, these readings are hitting me like a wet blanket! It’s hard to find the link to Light within them, but I believe there always is one – and I’ll suggest one subsequently. But first this.
Often in life, too, it’s hard to find the link to light. Harsh and insufferable realities can stubbornly darken our horizons.
Just this morning, I read about a podcast in which Michelle Obama had revealed a struggle with depression:
“These are not, they are not fulfilling times, spiritually,” Mrs Obama said. “I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression. Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting.”
Mrs. Obama is describing her “Nineveh”. Mine is pretty similar. What’s yours?
And how do we hold faith, even in the middle of “Nineveh”?
These assuring verses from Nahum offer the flicker of Light and the promise of Salvation. They encourage us to stay strong, remain faithful. We must keep lifting our eyes to the future that God dreams for all people, discerning its rising like the sun in a morning mist.
See, upon the mountains there advances
the bearer of good news,
Celebrate your feasts, O My people,
fulfill your vows!
…. The LORD will restore the beloved vine,
its hope, courage and strength …
Poetry: The Good God and the Evil God – Kahlil Gibran
The Good God and the Evil God met on the mountain top. The Good God said, “Good day to you, brother.” The Evil God did not answer. And the Good God said, “You are in a bad humour today.” “Yes,” said the Evil God, “for of late I have been often mistaken for you, called by your name, and treated as if I were you, and it ill-pleases me.” And the Good God said, “But I too have been mistaken for you and called by your name.” The Evil God walked away cursing the stupidity of humankind.
Music: How Beautiful – Joe Wise