Psalm 100: Joy Hides in Sorrow

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

Tuesday, September 15, 2020


Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 100, the “Jubilate Deo” – “Rejoice in the Lord”. These verses, on the feast of our Sorrowful Mother, might seem a bit contradictory:

Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.

But I think the seeming contradiction reveals a deep truth.

For those who live in God,
no sorrow can eradicate their resolute joy.


La Dolorosa (Lady of Sorrows or Mater Dolorosa) is a work by Cristóbal de Villalpando at the Musep Soumaya in Mexico City.

Certainly, like Mary, the faithful heart feels sorrow for both personal pain and the pain of all Creation. But the pain and sorrow is not the end of their feeling. There is a joyful hope because God abides with us in any suffering, promising that no evil can defeat the one who believes.

Mary believed that with all her heart and lived it. She invites us to the same courageous faith. As Psalm 100 assures us:

Know that the LORD is God;
Who made us, whose we are;
God’s people, the flock God tends.

For the Lord is good, 
whose kindness endures forever,
and whose faithfulness is to all generations.


Poem: Today’s poetic passage is from one of the great classics of Christian literature, A Woman Wrapped in Silence by Father John W. Lynch.

The book is a masterpiece best appreciated in reflective contemplation. I have chosen a sliver of its beauty today, one of many that captures Mary’s joy born of faith-filled suffering. This selection imagines what it was like when Mary remained in the Upper Room as the others, not knowing what to expect, went to the tomb early on Easter morning. The Resurrected Jesus comes to Mary first, before any other appearance.


Or is 
it true or thought of her she found no need
To search? And better said that she had known
Within, they’d not discover him again
Among the dead? That he would not be there
Entombed, and she had known, and only watched
Them now as they were whispering of him,

And let them go, and listened afterward
To footsteps that were fading in the dark.

To wait him here. Alone. Alone. A woman
Lonely in the silence and the trust
Of silence in her heart that did not seek,
Or cry, or search, but only waited him.

We have no word of this sweet certainty
That hides in her. There is not granted line
Writ meager in the scripture that will tell
By even some poor, unavailing tag
Of language what she keeps within the silence.
This is hers. We are not told of this,
This quaking instant, this return, this Light
Beyond the tryst of dawn when she first lifted
Up her eyes, and quiet, unamazed,
Saw He was near.

Music: Jubilate Deo – Mozart

Infinite Grace

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter
May 2, 2019

Click here for readings.

Today, in Mercy,  in our reading from Acts, the disciples continue to show immense courage in preaching the Word.  They are bursting with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, soon to be confirmed in them on Pentecost.

Jn3_34

We, too, have these gifts confirmed in us, not only when we receive the sacrament of Confirmation, but each time we open our hearts without reserve to the Holy Spirit and her ensuing abundance:

Wisdom
Understanding
Counsel, or Right Judgment
Fortitude, or Courage
Knowledge
Piety, or Reverence
Fear of the Lord, or Awesome Wonder

Sometimes, we unfortunately forget to call on these infinite gifts as we navigate life’s challenges. It is a blessing to remember that we are not doing this thing called “Life” alone, just as the early disciples were charged by the power of God.

Our Gospel confirms the availability of God’s unbounded Grace to all who believe:

For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.

Let’s consciously claim that unrationed grace today! Oh, what a difference it might make in our lives!

Music: Mozart: Veni Sancte Spiritus (Latin and English Lyrics below)

Veni sancte Spiritus:
Reple tuorum corda fidelium:
et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.
qui per diversitatem linguarum cunctarum
gentes in unitate fidei congregasti.
Alleluia.


Come Holy Spirit:
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle your love in them.

You have gathered the nations
together in the unity of faith.
Alleluia.