Monday, September 01, 2014

We, Your Works, Give You Thanks, Lord

Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time 2014

By Beth DeCristofaro

For “who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?”  But we have the mind of Christ.  (1 Corinthians 2:16)

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the Sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. (Luke 4:31)

The LORD is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger and abounding in mercy.
The LORD is good to all,
Compassionate toward all your works.
All your works give you thanks, LORD
And your faithful bless you.
They speak of the glory of your reign
And tell of your mighty works
        (Psalm 145:8-11)

As we are works of God, mystics and great teachers from our sacred history tell us that a fruitful avenue of study can be the humble study of ourselves.  This psalm would be an effective text book.  In fact the psalms can teach us much about ourselves as well as our God.  There are psalms with which we can weep in devastating sorrow, psalms of hope and recovery, psalms of anger and smiting, psalms of praise and jubilation.  The psalmist wrote before “we have the mind of Christ” but knew well the minds of men of which our Divine Lord was also one.

In the Gospel today, we have the compassionate, prophetic teacher Jesus who with strength and power dispels a demon from a possessed man.  Later, we will see Jesus healing.  We, too, have these attributes within us, as works of God.  Sometimes it is hard to reconcile all our conflicting emotions and thoughts but emotions and thoughts are not us.  Rather we are made in God’s image and that image has been imagined, studied, prayed about, meditated on since humans recognized that there is something mightier than they were. 

Give thanks to God!  Spend some time with this psalm and consider in what ways we show or do not show graciousness and mercy.  Is our anger slow and justified or quick and self-righteous?  Do we have compassion for all God’s works?  Are we good to all?  Do our lives speak of the glory of God’s reign and tell of God’s mighty works?  In all our imperfections know that we are works of God and ask to walk closer, enfolded in the mercy of God.

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