This weekend is Saturday the 24 and Sunday the 25 October, beginning, the 30th week of Ordinary Time.
The monks of Glenstal Abbey sing Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est. Wherever love is true, God is there. God is present here with you now: the God who is love. Present, living, dwelling in you.
This weekend’s reading is from the book of Exodus.
Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction.You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. You shall not abuse any widow or orphan. If you do abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely heed their cry; my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children orphans.If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them. If you take your neighbour’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down…
A “resident alien”, whom we are not to “wrong” or “oppress”, might be translated as “immigrant”. Does this make a difference to the way you understand this text?
Why does the text single out “widows and orphans”, do you think?
Now listen once more to this passage, and try to answer this question: “If I want to be close to God, what type of people should I associate with?”
Finally, look inside yourself, and try to see what is going on; then gather all of that and offer it up as a prayer to God in your own words.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.