A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

In the shadow of the weeds

It is not easy to be good in an evil world: to be selfless in a cultural landscape overrun with towering selfishness.

Today’s first reading (Malachi 3:13-20b) begins with the very blunt words of those who have succumbed to the world’s temptations and given up on what is right and good.

It is vain to serve God,
and what do we profit by keeping his command,
And going about in penitential dress
in awe of the LORD of hosts?
Rather must we call the proud blessed;
for indeed evildoers prosper,
and even tempt God with impunity.

Indeed, as ancient as these words are, they speak quite accurately of our world today in which evildoers prosper and tempt God with impunity in almost every media outlet.

But this is not the last word. Indeed, the reading ends with a sylvan metaphor for the Last Judgment.

For lo, the day is coming,
blazing like an oven,
when all the proud and all evildoers
will be stubble,
And the day that is coming
will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch,
says the LORD of hosts.
But for you who fear my name,
there will arise the sun of justice
with its healing rays.

You and I are like small saplings struggling in the shadows of tree-like weeds.

In God’s own time and in God’s own way, there will be a purification and these powerful but loathsome weeds will be ashes, but we – nurtured with the life-giving water of God’s spirit – will survive and flourish in the freedom of God’s light.

May we not envy the weeds.

No matter what shadows may come upon us, may we seek only to drink ever deeper of God’s spirit, truth, and love by the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.