Tuesday 12 October 2021
Today is Tuesday the 12 October, in the 28th week of Ordinary Time.
The monks of Pluscarden Abbey sing venite filii, audite me. Come, my sons and daughters, listen to me …. Come to the Lord and be enlightened; and your faces will not be put to shame.’ As I enter into prayer now, can I sense that invitation from God? Can I hear those words spoken to me? And accept the welcome, and that reassurance that God wants to give me?
Today’s reading is from St Paul’s letter to the Romans.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, ‘The one who is righteous will live by faith.’ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; for though they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools; and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.
Paul doesn’t mince his words, does he? His tone comes across as strict and his message unbending. How do I react to his words?
Yet there’s an urgent tone to his message. Paul refers to ‘futile thinking’. Does that strike a chord with me? Where does futile thinking take me?
Paul refers to God’s eternal power, to His divine nature, to understanding God through the things that He has made. How does God reveal Himself to me? Could I start with the things that He has made? Where would that line of thinking take me?
As I listen to the passage again, I allow the discomfort and directness of Paul’s writing to sit with me.
As this time of reflection comes to a close, I can have a direct conversation with God about the content and tone of today’s passage. I can say what I need to say. And I can listen out for God’s response. It might surprise me…
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.