Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 17, a prayer which captures our deep desire to live in the Light of God’s Face.

 

We, like the psalmist and like Jacob in our first reading, want to know, to understand, to name the Holy in our experience. 

From you let my judgment come;
    your eyes behold what is right.
Though you test my heart, searching it in the night,
    though you try me with fire, you shall find no malice in me.

Psalm 17:6-7

When Jacob struggles with the heavenly visitor, he wants a blessing and the visitor’s name. Jacob wants to define what has happened to him in the night.

The man then said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you bless me.”

Genesis 32:27-28

The Spirit does bless Jacob, but remains nameless, beyond the confines of Jacob’s definition. It is only after the visitor has departed that Jacob realizes whom he has encountered:

With that, the visitor bade him farewell.
Jacob named the place Peniel,
“Because I have seen God face to face,” he said,
“yet my life has been spared.”

Genesis 32:30-31

In our own lives, Heaven visits us constantly though we may be unaware. Discovering God’s Face depends so much on where we look and how we have learned to see.

Psalm 17 tells us that, if we stand in the light of justice and mercy, God’s face is revealed to us.

This was the light in which Jesus lived – to the point that, as we read in today’s Gospel, he could discover God’s face even under the guise of a poor demoniac.


Poetry: God BY KAHLIL GIBRAN

In the ancient days,
when the first quiver of speech came to my lips,
I ascended the holy mountain
and spoke unto God, saying,
“Master, I am thy slave.
Thy hidden will is my law
and I shall obey thee
for ever more.”

But God made no answer,
and like a mighty tempest passed away.

And after a thousand years
I ascended the holy mountain
and again spoke unto God, saying,
“Creator, I am thy creation.
Out of clay hast thou fashioned me
and to thee I owe mine all.”

And God made no answer,
but like a thousand swift wings passed away.

And after a thousand years
I climbed the holy mountain
and spoke unto God again, saying,
“Father, I am thy child.
In pity and love
thou hast given me birth, and through love and worship
I shall inherit thy kingdom.”

And God made no answer,
and like the mist that veils the distant hills he passed away.

And after a thousand years
I climbed the sacred mountain
and again spoke unto God, saying,
“My God, my aim and my fulfillment;
I am thy yesterday and thou are my tomorrow.
I am thy root in the earth
and thou art my flower in the sky,
and together we grow
before the face of the sun.”

Then God leaned over me,
and in my ears whispered words of sweetness,
and even as the sea that enfoldeth a brook
that runneth down to her, he enfolded me.
And when I descended to the valleys and the plains
God was there also.


Music:

We behold the splendor of God shining on the face of Jesus. 
We behold the splendor of God shining on the face of the Son.

[Verse1]
And oh, how his beauty transforms us, the wonder of presence abiding. 
Transparent hearts give reflection of Tabor’s light within, of Tabor’s light within.

(Repeat Chorus)

[Verse 2]
Jesus, Lord of Glory, Jesus, Beloved Son, oh, how good to be with you; 
ow good to share your light; how good to share your light.

Psalm 17: Apple of God’s Eye

Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Friday, September 18, 2020


Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 17, a confident prayer calling on God’s intervention.

The psalmist tenders a plea:

Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer
from lips without deceit.

Psalm 17:1

But before reiterating that plea, the pray-er convinces God that she is worthy of an answer:

You have tested my heart,
searched it in the night.
You have tried me by fire,
but find no malice in me.
My mouth has not transgressed
as others often do.
As your lips have instructed me,
I have kept from the way of the lawless.

Psalm 17: 3-4

It sounds a little boastful but it really isn’t. The one who prays this psalm is very familiar with God and God with her. There are no secrets between them. She knows that she is infinitely loved and protected, not despite her vulnerability but because of it. 

The psalmist, from long experience, is confident asking for help, as we would be asking a friend to turn and listen to us:

I call upon you; answer me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my speech.

Psalm 17: 7

Have you ever been asked for prayers because you are “a good prayer”?
It happens to nuns all the time.

But no prayer is more powerful than another. We say “Of course” to such requests because it is our intention to join our prayer with that of the requester.

Show your wonderful mercy,
you who deliver with your right arm
those who seek refuge from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings

Psalm 17: 8-9

Each of us is God’s “eye-apple”. Each of us, when we give ourselves to a long familiarity with God, will be wrapped in the confidence of one who is always answered.

( In a second posting, I’ll be sending on an extra meditation on The Eye of God by Macrina Wiederkehr – beautifully profound.)


Poetry: As Kingfishers Catch Fire – Gerard Manley Hopkins

by Alcedo Atthis

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; 
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells 
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s 
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; 
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: 
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; 
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, 
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came. 

I say móre: the just man justices; 
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces; 
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is — 
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places, 
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his 
To the Father through the features of men’s faces. 


Music:   The Apple of My Eye by Umb-5 and Sam Carter

Sometimes a non-spiritual song captures a spiritual meaning in a beautiful way. Let God sing to you with this lovely song.