Daily Reflection
August 30th, 2000
Joan Howard
University College
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Second Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18
Psalms 128:1-2, 4-5
Matthew 23:27-32

"You are beautiful to look at on the outside but inside full of filth and dead menís bones."

What an image!  How beautiful I am to look at, but inside I can be full of filth and dead menís bones - not even my own bones!  (As the kids say, how gross is that?!)  I have grown accustomed to hearing about the gentler side of God.  I much prefer to hear about the love, and peace, and joy, and mercy God intends for me.

Todayís readings can sound very harsh and are in stark contrast to the opening prayer and Entrance Antiphon taken from Psalm 17, which reminds me that God loves me and wants to led me to freedom.

What is going on here - is God really so complex that he has these vast extremes of love and condemnation?  I think what is happening here is part of the on-going dialogue between God and me.  God is the constant and I am the fickle member of the love relationship.  God does not vacillate from the lover to the prosecutor.  It is in the relationship, in my response to and awareness of Godís love in all the little bits and pieces of my daily life, that the love, joy, peace, and freedom flow.  Relationship with God is life giving.  It is I who am distracted, negligent, needy, and dis-eased.  Without this relationship I know that I do become dry and brittle.  Just as I have come to recognize the signs of lack of sleep, lack of proper diet, lack of exercise - so to, I have come to recognize the signs of an ignored relationship.  When I am not consistently, actively involved in my relationship with my husband, or children, or family and friends there are distinct signs of neglect.  So to, my relationship with my God.  It all takes time and attention.  These gifts of peace, joy, love, and freedom are not just laid on, but germinate and grow in the garden of our relationship.  God is constantly calling me into a deeper, fuller, richer relationship.  It is in our interaction that the relationship grows.  It is in the relationship that life is given and received.  This is the good news.

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