Friday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Friday, August 30, 2019

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Today, in Mercy, Paul describes for the Thessalonians how precious they are to God.

It is in a beautiful line of thought in today’s passage, but the thought is hidden in a thread through Paul’s sermon about marriage practices. It seems that some Thessalonians were playing a sort of “Bachelor/Bachelorette” game, devoid of the reverence marriage deserves.

But within Paul’s spousal instructions is this tender verse:

This is the will of God, your holiness.


God wants us to be blessed and completed with holiness. What is holiness? 

Merriam-Webster has a few definitions, the most helpful of which is this:

devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity

But maybe we could think of holiness this way:

  • Seeing deeply through circumstances to the heart of God
  • Learning to beat with that Heart in a mutual rhythm of grace and trust
  • Singing that rhythm into a longing world by a life of mercy and love

Some of the world’s longing will always remain in us too. But Jesus tells us, in today’s Gospel, that our longing will be filled when the Bridegroom comes. Still, he cautions us to be ready – to have an abundance of oil to light our heart-lamps for God.

So today, let’s squeeze that precious oil out of every moment – every opportunity to find, love, and serve God in the people and circumstances of our lives.

Music: a little bit of a stretch today.  But if you listen inside the lyrics, I think you’ll find connections to today’s reflection. (Besides, who can’t be uplifted by Neil Diamond? 🙂