Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Colossians 3:12-14’


Ezra 3: A Great Shout

Friday, November 1, 2019

I love this story of a joyful people who realize that they have been saved from the teeth of death.  They fully know that their God loves them despite their collective and individual transgressions, and they also recognize that they have another opportunity to begin anew.  We can all use this message from time to time.

The people in today’s story are still close to the bitterness of their exile experience and they have not allowed time to dim or re-write their reality.  They have not yet given in to the temptation to morph memories into events which did not happen.  They are still being honest with themselves.

St. Paul writes to the Colossians (3:12-14) and to us to remind us of how we are to live in our new life after our own exile and return.  He tells us what we yearn to know: How are we to be when we come into God’s presence?  How are we to wear Christ as a garment into a society which is focused on the things of the world?  Paul says simply: Put on, then, as God’s chosen, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.  And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.

The people in today’s reading are chosen and loved by God.  We today are also chosen and loved.  We so often seek perfection in our actions and words.  We try to avoid error in order to steer clear of pain.  We return from our exile times and wonder how to begin again.

Today we read about a great shout of joy and weeping that goes up from the returned.  We might want to add our own tears and voices to the chorus.


Written on September 25, 2009 and posted today as a Favorite. 

To read more about Ezra click on the image above or go to: http://www.bibletutor.com/level1/program/start/people/ezra.htm

Read Full Post »


Isaiah 21: Fall of Babylon

Friday, March 15, 2019

Francesco Hayez: Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem

Today’s reflection follows yesterday’s Noontime reading and here we see the Babylonian Captivity is a seminal episode in our Judeo-Christian history; it is an experience against which we measure many others.

A cruel site, revealed to me.  Trauma, upheaval, betrayal, suffering, turmoil – this is what Isaiah sees coming.  The conqueror will be conquered.  This is unimaginable.

I am too bewildered to hear, too dismayed to look.  Terror, shock, horror, panic, dread – this is what we fear is around the corner, up the street, in our own backyard.  We turn away confused by what we see and hear.  Nothing makes sense.

My mind reels, shuddering assails me.  We are so upset that we make ourselves ill.  This is an experience we know.  We also know that we cannot endure unless someone somehow brings us relief.  We struggle to stay afloat; we flail our arms to remain upright.  We cannot believe we are in this situation.

For thus says the Lord to me: Go, station a watchman, let him tell what he sees.  We pull ourselves together and decide that rather than fall completely to pieces we have to trust someone.  Tentatively we put out a hand to God.

And I stay at my post through all the watches of the night.  As long as nothing more happens we can stand erect watching, waiting for our deliverance.  We scan the horizons to see how God will come to our rescue.  We wait and keep watch, fearful yet hoping.

Francesco Hayez: The Babylonian Exile

Here he comes now: a single chariot, a pair of horses; he calls out and says, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon, and all the images of her gods are smashed to the ground.  We hear the news we never thought we would hear.  The impossible has taken place.  An old foe has fallen.  A former enemy begs forgiveness.  We are stunned and know how to respond as the truth of our deliverance seeps into our consciousness.

Oh my people who have been threshed, beaten on my threshing floor!  What I have heard from the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, I have announced to you.  At first we think we have miss-heard, misunderstood but it dawns on us that God has brought about the impossible.  God has answered our prayer.  And although others may encourage us to take revenge upon a vanquished opponent we choose to react as Jesus asks.  We give thanks, and we heed the words of St. Paul to the Colossians (3:12-14).

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.  And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. 

And so we pray . . .

Good and generous God, we are tempted to crush the enemy we see fallen; but we know that you call us to intercede for those who have plotted our downfall.  The enemy who wished to annihilate us has in turn been vanquished; you have saved us from destruction.  Help us to forgive as we have been forgiven.  Remind us to bless as we have been blessed.  Let us love as we have been loved.  Amen. 


A re-post from March 15, 2012.

For more reflections on The Book of Lamentations click on the images above or go to: http://tndickersondiaries.blogspot.com/2011/01/lamentations-highlights.html

Also see The Book of Lamentations page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/the-book-of-our-life/lamentations-surviving-ruin/

For more on the Book of Isaiah, go to the Isaiah – God of time and Space page on this blog at https://thenoontimes.com/the-book-of-our-life/isaiah-god-of-time-and-space/

Read Full Post »


Exodus 34The Richness of God

Sunday, November 11, 2018

When Moses sees the people worshiping a golden calf they have fashioned for themselves (Exodus 32:19) he smashes the tablets containing the Ten Commandments in a fit of wrath.  In today’s Noontime we read of the renewal of these tablets.  Even in the face of a willful turning away, God shows his chosen people kindness and mercy.  And God shows us this same gentleness and compassion today.

Murillo: The Good Shepherd

Today’s readings are centered on God as the Good Shepherd, the patient night-watcher, the constant day-herder, the wise and loving one who knows us from the womb until our last breath.

Paul writes to the Colossians (3:12-14) and to us: Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.  And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. 

Moses describes God as merciful and gracious, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, continuing his kindness for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin.  Moses also speaks of how God chastises us – all the while loving us as a loving parent wishing the best for his child.

The Psalm in the Morning Prayer today is Psalm 36:6-10 and it reminds us of the depth and breadth of God’s love.  It also reminds us that God will be painfully truthful with us in order that we also grow in mercy and goodness and truth and justice and light: Your love, Lord, reaches to heaven; your truth to the skies.  Your justice is like God’s mountain, your judgments like the deep. To both man and beast you give protection, O Lord, how precious is your love.  My God, the sons of men find refuge in the shelter of your wings.  They feast on the riches of your house; they drink from the stream of your delight.  In you is the source of life and in your light we see light.

The MAGNIFICAT mini-reflection (Cameron 132-133) helps us to understand why we gather to celebrate Eucharist as often as possible: Through the mystery of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, God has destroyed death forever by transforming it from the end of our story to a passageway into eternal life.  In the Eucharistic feast, we taste the promise of the fulfilled.  It is in and with and through Christ that come we come to know the fullness of God’s love, that he gives his own child so that we might live.  Such is the richness of God.  Such is his gift of light and life to us.

Toward the end of exodus 34 we read about how Moses’ face is so transformed into light that he puts a veil over his face.  God’s radiance is reflected in Moses’ face . . . all of this goodness is nearly too much to bear.

The MAGNIFICAT Morning Intercessions help us to make the connection between God’s feeding of the Hebrews in the desert with God’s abiding love for us in the 21st century.  They let us know that God’s eternal message of peace that made Moses’ face radiant in joy is the same message God has for us today.  When we cry out in sorrow . . . God nourishes us.  When we wander in the darkness . . . God brings us the gift of eternal life.

God feeds us with the finest wheat: our Lord Jesus Christ, source of our life.  And so we pray . . .

You feed us at the table of your word: nourish the thoughts of our heart.

You feed us with the bread of life: grant that we may live in the spirit of self-giving love.

You feed us with the pledge of eternal life: grant that we may receive our daily bread with gratitude.

God of life, you invite all peoples to the feast of life in your kingdom.  Forgive us when, in our foolishness, we refuse your invitation to pursue other interests, and bring us back to your table that we may continue to grow in the life of Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord for ever.  Amen.

God is the Good Shepherd of all creation; he is the patient night-watcher and the constant day-herder.  God is the wise and loving one who knows us from the womb until our last breath.  God nourishes and feeds; he rescues and saves.  God calls us always to himself.  For God is rich in kindness and mercy, quick to forgive, slow to anger . . . always calling us home.


A re-post from October 9, 2011.

Cameron, Peter John, Rev., ed. “Mini-Reflection and Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 9 October 2011: 251. Print.

Images from: https://thenoontimes.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/river-200×15011.jpg and https://fineartamerica.com/featured/sunset-over-wears-valley-tennessee-mountain-art-reid-callaway.html

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: