Wednesday 21 August

Today is Wednesday, 21st August, in the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time.

Ex Cathedra, directed by Jeffrey Skidmore, sing Hanaq Pachap Kusikuynin, a hymn in the Quechua language of South America, a beautiful prayer which I might make my own as I listen now: “Bliss of heaven: a thousand times I adore you.  Tree of uncountable fruits.  Hope of the peoples.  Pillar of the weak.  Listen to my prayer.”

Today’s reading is from the Book of Judges.

One great temptation that the People of Israel faced from time to time was the desire to have a king over them. This was because they had forgotten what God had done for them, and did not really trust God to look after them. In the reading that you have just heard, Abimelech (whose name means “My Father is King”) is making a bid to become king. And Jotham, who stands on the mountain and tells a story, is the last survivor of Abimelech’s brothers. Abimelech has killed all the rest of them, to fulfil his ambition. What would be the equivalent today of Abimelech’s power-game today, do you think?

Do you ever find yourself longing for power? What is the best way of coping with our lust for power?

Listen again to the parable that Jotham tells. Why does he shout it from the top of a mountain? Notice the order in which he mentions the trees: first, the olive-tree, then the fig-tree, then the vine, and finally the bramble. What is the point that he is making here?

Now try to express before God the feelings that well up deep in your heart  and turn them into a prayer.