May 28, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 149 exhorting us to praise God out loud. And we can do that. We’ve all been part of that kind of glorious praise with the help of our wonderful choirs, musicians, and praise dancers.
However, the psalm today is set between two intriguing readings that may cause us to think more deeply about our “praise”.
Sirach offers a cryptic description of who might be remembered as a godly person, ultimately saying it is the one whose virtues are unforgettable.
So the practice of virtue is presented as the most important act of praise.
Yet these also were godly personsSirach 14: 10-11
whose virtues have not been forgotten;
Their wealth remains in their families,
their heritage with their descendants;
In our Gospel, we meet what at first might appear as a moody, frustrated Jesus. Hungry one morning, he curses a figless fig tree. We might be inclined to focus on the poor zapped tree, but that would be to miss the point.
The leafy yet fruitless tree is a symbol of a wordy “faith” without accompanying works. It describes people who, like the Pharisees in the Temple, shout praise without practicing charity and mercy.
Together, the readings help us see true praise in a clear light – as beautiful waving leaves on a tree full of sweet, loving fruitful actions.
Poetry: Judgement Day – R.S. Thomas
Yes, that’s how I was,
I know that face,
That bony figure
Of flesh or limb;
In health happy,
Careless of the claim
Of the world’s sick
Or the world’s poor;
In pain craven –
Lord, breathe once more
On that sad mirror,
Let me be lost
In mist for ever
Rather than own
Such bleak reflections,
Let me go back
On my two knees
Slowly to undo
The knot of life
That was tied there.
Music: Good Fruit – Katy Bowser
Have fun with this, my friends! 🤗