ZEP 3: 1-2, 9-13
PS 34: 2-3, 6-7, 17-18, 19 AND 23
MT 21: 28-32
"Tyrannical city!" How could I not think of current events while praying today's readings? But then again, isn't that the miracle of Scripture?
And so, we have been warned - again (and again and again). Choose well whether you be the "remnant" or the "proud braggarts." Right now it seems USofAmericans are split along this issue - and most.
And for those who believe that God works through reality, we are charged with bringing more and more people to the discussion table where actions need to be hammered out. We are not charged with bringing people to their knees through violence. Our forgiving and loving God offers us a chance at reconciliation: "You need not be ashamed of all your deeds, your rebellious actions against me." But we do need to decide if we will choose to remain with God and God's people or not.
In today's responsorial psalm I was nudged to remember a mission trip in 2010 with Pax Christi to Guatemala. While visiting a mission area around Lake Atitlan we came to the church where Fr. Stan Rother was martyred back in the 80s. Upon entering the church I heard a muffled sound which drew me in... I didn't see any people in the main church and so kept walking toward the altar. The sound grew louder, but I couldn't tell if it was singing or praying or what. And then I turned the corner and saw about a hundred women kneeling in the small chapel before our Lord... crying out, and I said to myself, "So this is what the Lord hears when it is said, 'The Lord hears the cry of the poor!'" And now our Lord hears those cries on our city's streets, but not just ours... Cries from the streets of Hong Kong filled with protesters being cleared... the streets flooded by Climate Change in the Philippines... the streets of Gaza filled with rubble...
These are all God's children, and we are all sisters and brothers, crying out today's Alleluia verse: "Come, O Lord, do not delay; forgive the sins of your people!" And now today's gospel which concludes with these words: "Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe in him [John the Baptist]." My prayer is that we pray for and seek to develop the compassionate and wise eyes and ears of God with which to see and hear our sisters and brothers, our Selves - and those who are on the other side of any and all issues, those not in the choir, for we need us all to "call upon the name of the Lord, to serve God with one accord!"
Richard DeBona is Director of Parish Social Ministry at St. Francis Xavier College Church.