Our Laboring Mother

Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church

Tuesday, September  3, 2019

Click here for readings

Today, in Mercy, Paul again affirms the faith and prudence of the Thessalonians:

Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well
that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.

He paints a dire picture of those “times and seasons”, likening them to the onset of labor pains. But like a mother’s labor, these pains ultimately yield life:

For God did not destine us for wrath,
but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

So Christ, our Laboring Mother, delivers us – even through seasons of suffering and evil – to a new day. And we – we are the midwives to one another’s salvation:

Therefore, encourage one another
and build one another up,
as indeed you do.

This honest encouragement is so essential for us in our faith communities because, without it, the mystery of suffering and evil overwhelm us. 

Ps27_13

It is both awesome and fearsome to truly encounter Mystery. In its presence, we are rudderless: we cannot explain, control, or humanly rationalize it. Mystery can only be comprehended by greater Mystery. Suffering can only be plumbed by the greater Mystery of Love.

And we know Love’s Name: Jesus by Roc O’Connor (Lyrics below)

Refrain:

Jesus, Jesus
Let all creation bend the knee to the Lord.

1. In Him we live, we move and have our being;
In Him the Christ, In Him the King!
Jesus the Lord.

2. Though Son, He did not cling to Godliness,
But emptied Himself, became a slave!
Jesus the Lord.

3. He lived obediently His Father’s will
Accepting His death, death on a cross!
Jesus the Lord.

Listen for Angels

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052918.cfm

1Pet 1_12 Angels

Today, in Mercy, we begin reading Peter’s first epistle. Addressed to Christians dispersed through Asia Minor, the letter reminds them of the revelations of the prophets passed down to them and ultimately realized in in the Person of Christ. Peter instructs these early Christians to persevere in trials because they are now the bearers of this continuing divine revelation.

Today, we are the agents in that evolving revelation of the mystery of salvation. How we live as Christians opens the world’s insight into God’s Mercy and Love. Our testing ground is not a Roman persecution. It is a prevailing culture of death and degradation of the human person. This culture mesmerizes and poisons us to the point that we fail to see the glorious mysteries revealing themselves in our lives.

Peter says that even the angels long to look into these glorious mysteries. And yet, through faith in Jesus Christ, we have been given that blessing. It deserves our continual, grateful and responsive attention.

Listen for the angels circling your life today, singing “Look, the glory of God is here!” – in a child’s smile, a beloved’s hand, a gentle sunset, a raging storm – a call to mercy, justice, forgiveness, or generosity.

Music: Emanuel ~ Tim Manion

Even though this is an Advent/Christmas hymn, it captures the gift of revelation in Christ announced to us by the songs of angels. A lovely hymn.

Trinity: Incomprehensible Love

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052718.cfm

Trinity

Today, in Mercy, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, one of the most profound mysteries of our faith. The first reading shows us that human beings have been trying to understand this mystery ever since the time of Moses! The readings from both Romans and Matthew describe the power of God’s triune love in those who believe. But none of the readings really explain the Holy Trinity.

And that’s the whole point. “Mystery” cannot be explained.. We fumble around with human words in an attempt to capture a reality beyond words, beyond analysis – but not beyond faith. Mystery can only be encountered in humble and undemanding faith.

Today, as Christians, we profess our belief in a God Who is incomprehensible Infinite Love creating, redeeming and sanctifying all Creation. This Infinite Love is so pure and complete that, within its Unity, it both embraces and frees the three Persons of the Trinity.

Pope Francis has said, “The Christian community, though with all its human limitations, can become a reflection of the communion of the Trinity, of its goodness and beauty.”  Our prayer today is to grow in our capacity to love in imitation of the Trinity. May we, as individuals and as a Church, increase in that merciful inclusivity and wholeness which reflects the triune love of God, at once embracing and freeing all that we love.

Music: Grace ~ Michael Hoppè – May this reflective piece offer us the space to enter into God’s Presence.