Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

April 22, 2021


Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 66, a hymn of rousing gratitude for God’s loving and responsive protection.

Bless our God, you peoples,
    loudly sound his praise;
God has given life to our souls,
    and has not let our feet slip.

Psalm 66: 8-9

The psalmist encourages us to let people know that we recognize God’s presence and grace in our lives always. That Presence may be a gentle, otherwise imperceptible, constant unless we give it voice and honor by our actions.

Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
    what God has done for me.
When I appealed to God in words,
    praise was on the tip of my tongue.

Psalm 66: 16-17

Poetry: Come to Dust – Ursula Le Guin

Spirit, rehearse the journeys of the body
that are to come, the motions
of the matter that held you.
Rise up in the smoke of palo santo.
Fall to the earth in the falling rain.
Sink in, sink down to the farthest roots.
Mount slowly in the rising sap
to the branches, the crown, the leaf-tips.
Come down to earth as leaves in autumn
to lie in the patient rot of winter.
Rise again in spring’s green fountains.
Drift in sunlight with the sacred pollen
to fall in blessing.
                                   All earth’s dust
has been life, held soul, is holy.

Music: Bless Our God – John Foley, SJ – I love this beautiful hymn … definitely in my top ten.

Bless our God the Father of Jesus the Lord of our ways. 
Every gift is ours in our life, in the Lord of our days.
 
Refrain:
Praise to his name, we are made for the praise of his glorious name. 
He chose us to be those who trust in his ways.

May our God give light to the eyes of your mind for your days. 
May he give you wisdom and knowledge of him, in his ways. 

Bless our God, he grants us the gifts of our lives in his ways. 
Bless our God, he saved us he gave us the Christ for our days.

Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter

April 21, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 66, the exuberant prayer of those who recognize the beauty of God in their lives. They can see Love’s sacred thread, even when it is woven in subtle tones through the fabric of their lives.

I want to be one of those people, don’t you?

But sometimes, life might not look so beautiful. Surely it didn’t for some of the persecuted  Christians in today’s first reading. And yet they remained faithful and found joy.

Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. …
Thus Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing…
There was great joy in that city.

Acts 8:4-8

Joy is not dependent on circumstances. It is a foundational disposition of those convinced of God’s loving and faithful presence in our lives and in all Creation. It is a gift that accompanies faith, nurtures hope, and impels charity.

It is what our soul looks like when it shouts “Wow!” to God.

Say to God: “How awesome your deeds!
Before your great strength all contradiction cringes.
All the earth falls in worship before you;
they sing of you, sing of your name!”

Psalm 66: 3-4

We can’t just WILL ourselves into this kind of joy. But we can ask for it, pray for it, plead for it.  Such a prayer will turn and open our hearts toward our generous God Who longs to bless us with joy.


Poetry: Joy and Woe – William Blake

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine,
Under every grief and pine,
Runs a joy with silken twine.
It is right it should be so,
We were made for joy and woe,
And when this we rightly know,
Through the world we safely go.

Music: Ode to Joy – Ludwig van Beethoven