July 15, 2020
by Jeanne Schuler
Creighton University's Philosophy Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 391

Isaiah 10:5-7, 13b-16
Psalm 94:5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 14-15
Matthew Mt 11:25-27

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Judging Others? Or Ourselves?

In the Wilderness Together

The Lord will not abandon his people.”  (Psalm 94:14)

Time and again the Jewish people drifted away from Yahweh.  Isaiah cried out: come back, come back.  Weak and fearful kings ignored the prophet’s warning.  Their eyes fixed on the Assyrian empire that “moves the boundaries of peoples.”  This empire boasts of its power to plunder and destroy.  A giant, it will trample down the Jewish kingdoms.  But total destruction does not arrive.  It is the empire that will vanish in flames.

In a dialogue, Yahweh puts the empire in its place.  “You are my tool.  I am the power that swings the rod.  You are the wood of the weapon.  My people will endure the blows of your military might.  But you will not crush them.”   It is lawless empires and arrogant rulers that disappear from history.   

The world is under siege.  The death toll mounts. “Where are you, Yahweh?  Is this punishment for our wayward lives?  Is this harsh medicine to heal our crooked souls?  Are pandemic victims just wood in the rod you swing?  Have you resolved to test us, like Job?”  The wise and learned ponder the problem of evil.  Their best efforts arrive at this conclusion: God does not abandon us.

An uprising overlays the pandemic.  The prudent and vulnerable hang back.  On our screens we see young people pour into the streets.  Like the wise they ask “why?”   Then, with urgency, they act.  We arrive at this time of reckoning through the persistence of the children.

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