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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 31’


Sirach 14:20-27, 15:1-10: Terror and Wisdom

Holy Thursday, April 18, 2019

Happiness is found in the pursuit of our vocation as an integral part of God’s plan in God’s time.  Today’s reading tells us that we are to take individual responsibility for our actions, or lack of them.  We remind ourselves that so frequently we become targets of anger when we work in God’s vineyard.  We also remind ourselves that Wisdom serves a double function: it helps us in our search for our place in God’s plan, and she is also our bulwark in times of fear.

From today’s MAGNIFICAT Morning Prayer: John 15:18,20: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.  No slave is greater than his master”.  Disciples who follow Jesus faithfully must expect to follow him into dislike, ridicule, even persecution from those who find the Gospel threatening to their ways of thinking and acting.

Psalm 31 tells us that sometimes In the face of all my foes I am a reproach, an object of scorn to my neighbors and of fear to my friends.  As my Dad used to say, You know who your friends are when it’s “stand up” time. 

Wisdom 2:12-14 Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training.  He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the Lord.  To us he is censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us. 

Jeremiah 6:25: Do not go out to the fields or walk on the roads, for the enemy has a sword, and there is terror on every side. 

As we know, so often when we are doing the work we are called to do we encounter huge opposition.  When we stand to witness, a wave of resistance greets us.  This is when we need to rest in Wisdom.

Mother-like she meets and embraces us.  She shelters us from the heat and dwells in our home.  We can lean upon her and not fall.  We can put our trust in her and not be shamed.  We will find joy and gladness and everlasting name in her. 

Where do we find Wisdom?

We pursue her like a scout, peep through her windows and listen at her doorways.  We encamp near her house and fasten our tent pegs near her walls.  We build nests in her leafage and lodge in her branches.

We learn from scripture that Wisdom comes from patient and active waiting on the word of God.  When we meditate on this word, we receive the answers we seek.  These answers will come in God’s time and in God’s way . . . but they will arrive.

So let us pray for those who would terrorize us.  Let us forgive those who wish us ill and bring them with us as we ask Wisdom to open her doors to us.

And let us pray.

Psalm 31As for me, I trust in you, Lord, I say: “You are my God.  My life is in your hands, deliver me from the hands of those who hate me”.

And grant us the Wisdom to see goodness in all things and all people, just as you see goodness in each of us.  Amen.


A re-post from March 4, 2012.

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 11.3 (2009). Print.  

Image from: http://akshatrathi.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/the-happiness-paradox/

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Matthew 13:33: Critical Yeast

Monday, June 18, 2018

Jesus told them still another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A woman takes some yeast and mixes it with a bushel of flour until the whole batch of dough rises.” (GNT)

We know that when we bake bread, the baker must thoroughly mix the yeast with all the ingredients. To leave one portion untouched means that the loaves will bake unevenly; one slice of the loaf will be light and airy while another will be heavy and flat. Jesus asks that we go out to all those he invites to join him in the Kingdom.

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.” (NRSV)

We know that when we bake bread, the baker must knead and re-knead the dough, punching down the growing form to eliminate bubbles. To leave these pockets of air distorts the baking loaf and gives it unusual proportions. Jesus asks that we rise again when circumstances keep us from our work in building the Kingdom.

And he told them yet another parable. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with a bushel of flour, then waited until the whole batch of dough rose.” (CJB)

We know that Jesus gave his twelve Apostles authority over evil when he sent them into the world to build the Kingdom. (Mark 6:7) Jesus sends us into the world each morning as yeast for the kingdom; he welcomes us home each evening to heal our wounds and restore our flagging spirit.

Another story. “God’s kingdom is like yeast that a woman works into the dough for dozens of loaves of barley bread—and waits while the dough rises.” (MSG)

We know that Jesus sends seventy-two disciples in the world. He sent them out two by two, to go ahead of him to every town and place where he himself was about to go. (Luke 10:1) Jesus sends us into the world not as large cohorts but in small groups to be yeast that will leaven all places of his kingdom.

God creates us as critical yeast for the world. God’s very Word empowers us as he sends us into all parts of the kingdom. The Spirit raises us repeatedly after each buffeting so that we might bring God’s critical leavening to a world that longs for the Kingdom.

Today we pray Psalm 31 and we repeat the anitphon: A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough (Galatians 5:9).

When we compare varying translations of these verses, we discover new ways to become yeast that will build God’s Kingdom. 

Tomorrow, we are the Temple.


To learn more about cricial yeast in the world, listen to the June 7, 2018 podcast of Krista Tippett’s On Being show with AMERICA FERRERA AND JOHN PAUL LEDERACH: “How Change Happens, In Generational Time”. https://onbeing.org/programs/america-ferrera-john-paul-lederach-how-change-happens-in-generational-time-jun2018/

Image from: https://www.circleofhope.net/jonnyrashid/bake-bread-follow-jesus/

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