March 24, 2017
Friday, Lent Week Three
View Today's Readings
The Responsorial (Psalm 81) is incomprehensible. It is impossible to summarize these readings — just as it is impossible to begin to grasp what “I am the Lord your God” means. We could sit silent in front of this mystery for the rest of our lives.
So read Hosea 14: 2-10. Then re-read it. Then read the Responsorial Psalm — all of it. Then start over.
Read Mark 12: 28-34. It is saying the same thing. Keep reading until you realize you don’t understand any of it and yet have grasped the meaning of all of it. Then sit in silent wonder before your God.
“Return....” What does it mean that God says this? Not just a human; God himself. What depth and breadth and length and height does it contain?
“Say to him, ‘Forgive all iniquity.’” Who is saying this to whom? Who is he, that we dare, are encouraged, to say it? Who is this God we are dealing with?
“We shall say no more, “Our god,” to the work of our hands.” We don’t bandy words with God. If we say it, we need to mean it. At least mean that we will sincerely and perseveringly try. With “steadfast love” we will work against the idolatry of our hearts embodied in the “work of our hands.” In all we do.
How long do we have to think about that before it gets real? Our culture has removed the labels from our idols. They go by legitimate names. What reveals them as idols? As idols for you? Yours.
“I will heal their defection. I will love them freely.” What does this mean — when it is God who says it? God doesn’t act, heal or love on our limited level. What does this mean on his level? What does it encourage me to feel? To do?
“I will be like the dew for Israel... he shall strike root and put forth shoots.” We have to read Psalm 1. God is talking about disciples: those who “meditate day and night.”
They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.
Do these words mean anything to you? What have they inspired you to do? Have you grasped their meaning, under the imagery? Have you really? Do you believe it? You don’t unless you are doing it. Or else you haven’t really understood what you believe. “Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those who are prudent know them.”
Look up what “know” means in Scripture. It means to get in bed with. To touch every part of. To lose yourself in. To possess totally in total surrender.
Do you “know these things”? Then become a disciple.
This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful (Joshua 1:8)..
“I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.”
Initiative: Be awed. Stand before the mystery of God. Let it fill you.