November 19, 2010
Friday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
By Melanie Rigney
I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. He said to me, “Take and swallow it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.” I took the small scroll from the angel’s hand and swallowed it. In my mouth it was like sweet honey, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. (Revelations 10:9-10)
How sweet to my taste is your promise! (Psalms 119:103)
Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words. (Luke 19:45-48)
Jesus, I am ashamed how often this house You have given me becomes a den of thieves—thieves seeking to deprive others of their dignity and self-respect and privacy. Forgive me. Help me to build a house of prayer to You.
The angel’s scroll was sweet, for it foretold of God’s people’s victory. It was sour, for it also revealed their suffering. The taste of our faith lives today often is complex as well. The sweet can seem pretty abstract and distant at times. We get lonely. We don’t understand why we or those we love have to suffer physically. We envy the riches or happiness of those we judge less worthy than ourselves.
The sour, well, the sour we comprehend all too well.
But because we believe in the sweetness of God and His Word, we try to have faith and hope that God is there even when we can’t see Him anywhere. We do our best to cast out the thieves that would love to rob us of that faith and hope, which is our very essence as Christians. And, as long as we hang on to that, those that would do us evil cannot accomplish their purpose.
Examine today where the sweet exists behind the sour in your life.