In the first reading from Isaiah, I am struck by and gladdened by the following lines. I am truly convinced that God loves each of us “as though there were only one of us.” (St. Augustine) I want everyone to experience God’s love the way that I have felt it. It is there for all of us – He won’t force it on us, but He waits patiently for the slightest turn toward Him to lavish his Fatherly love upon us. God is so good!
For the LORD delights in you
So shall your God rejoice in you.
In the responsorial psalm, the following words captured my attention:
Give to the LORD the glory due his name!
Worship the LORD in holy attire.
There is such a prevailing disrespect for God’s holy name these days in the media. His name is thrown around like an exclamation, interjection or even a curse word. In the Old Testament, God’s name, Yahweh, was considered so holy that it could not only not be uttered, but it could not be written, so it was symbolized YHWH without the vowels. We really need to charitably correct those we love who have the habit of using God’s name casually. This seemingly benign habit is actually breaking a commandment – pretty serious. I remember my mom correcting me as a child – firmly – yet kindly. When I would use God’s name casually, saying, “Oh my God,” she would spin around and say, “EXCUSE me.” It was an important lesson that I’m so glad that she impressed upon me as a child.
The second line that caught my attention instructed us to worship God in holy attire. Wow! Holy Attire. When my family used to attend a beautiful, traditional church, I used to dress up on Sundays – including a hat! I’m guilty of relaxing my wardrobe. Does society today have a concept of holy attire?
Regarding the second reading, it challenged me not to be jealous of other’s spiritual gifts. Sometimes, I see people who are holier, or farther along on their spiritual paths than myself. The Holy Spirit’s gifts are not given to all of us in equal proportion. We are gifted with different gifts in different quantities for a reason. Doesn’t God know what He is doing? Surely, He knows. We must trust and be grateful.
This gospel is especially important to us as Catholics, as it shows how Mary can intercede for us before Jesus. To me, however, Jesus’ words to Mary when He calls her “woman” are somewhat perplexing. If you find it confusing as well, you might want to read Mark Shea’s post on the subject. I found it helpful.
May the Lord Bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you peace!