I read the Amos prophecy and thought of some really cool, impractical thoughts I could offer. So, I ruled out those. Then I read the Gospel and felt so distant from cloak patching and wineskin drinking that I wasn’t sure what to say there. I then thought, what about this often forgotten section, the Psalm. Remarkable isn’t it? We read the Psalms multiple times a day in the Church. Psalms are included in nearly every office of Liturgy of the Hours, every daily Mass, and every Sunday Mass. This is one rich Old Testament book. So today, let’s look to the Psalm, and I want to offer a rewording of the Psalm as a meditation. So you don’t have to leave this page, here is the original text:
“I will hear what God proclaims; / the LORD–for he proclaims peace to his people. / Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, / glory dwelling in our land. / Kindness and truth shall meet; / justice and peace shall kiss. / Truth shall spring out of the earth, / and justice shall look down from heaven. / The LORD himself will give his benefits; / our land shall yield its increase. / Justice shall walk before him, / and salvation, along the way of his steps.”
Help me listen for your voice, Lord. I trust that You speak and that I will know Your voice for it will lead me to peace. For with You there is peace as I am near the fullness of life. I find peace in You, especially when I admit that you are God and I am not. When I walk so as to please other people I find myself lost amid the paths of wilderness. But when I fear You, when I desire to please You above and beyond any creature, for You are Creator, I find the narrow way stretching out before me. When I walk this way I see how little comes from me and how all that is around me is a gift. The world is charged with Your grandeur, O’ God! When I walk with You, difficult things to reconcile become well acquainted. To know You, to follow You, is to walk as a disciple of Love and Truth incarnate. It is to stand in awe as Justice and Peace kiss where the beams of the cross meet. We call this choreographed collision of Love, Truth, Peace, and Justice, Mercy. Misericordia, Your righteous heart (cordia) stooping low to encounter the truth of our misery (miseri) which is lifted to You by Truth nailed to a tree. In this mercy, this meeting of Your heart with our misery, we share in Your love, compassion, and even Your divine nature. Help us to bear fruit, Lord, so that Your vineyard may grow…
Now this prayer isn’t over yet. I did not rewrite the last two lines of the Psalm because want to invite you to adapt them into your own words. Use this as an opportunity to practice praying the Psalms. Even share your rewrite if you are so inclined.
– Spencer Hargadon