There is an ancient legend, about a tyrannical, all powerful king who was able to work his will on his subjects in all things. All things except one: he was unable to destroy their belief in God. So he summoned his three wisest advisors and asked them, “Where can I hide the people’s God so they will not be able to find Him?” Said the first wise man: “Hide their God beyond the farthest star; there they will not be able to find him.” Said the second wise man, “Not so! Someday these people will learn to fly beyond the stars, and then they will find their God. Rather hide Him on the floor of the sea.” Said the third wise man, “Not so! One day these people will learn to travel to the bottom of the deepest ocean and then they will find their God. Rather, hide him in the everyday lives of the people; there no one will find Him!”
Of course God has no hiding place on earth. All the lands are God’s– all the skies, all the waters, are God’s–all the animals are God’s. And all the people are God’s–the proud and the humble; the rich and the poor; the hypocrites and the faithful; the Kings and the subjects, without distinction.
Back in the 90’s, Dennis Byrd, then a twenty-something defensive lineman for the New York Jets, suffered a career ending injury to his spine. But deep within he continued to see himself as the focus of God’s loving care, even though, externally, he no longer possessed the attributes that had once brought him fame and wealth. In his autobiography, “Rise and Walk,” Byrd writes: “That’s the miracle! That is the magic! It’s knowing that all of life is a blessing, that the Lord is with us even if we falter. He is with us even if we fail. He is with us when we break, and He can make us whole. I’ve always believed that. And I always will.”
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to relate to Mr. Byrd’s story. We all falter. We all fail. And we all break. And as a Christian community we should be ever-mindful that the Lord is with us at those times–especially at those times–to pick up the pieces and make us whole again.
As a people of faith, may we rejoice together as we say, “We’ve always believed that, and we always will.”
Peace and blessings!
Oct. 18 and19, 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The scripture readings for today speak of the greatness and majesty of God: “I am the Lord and there is no other…”, “for great is the Lord and highly to be praised, awesome is he beyond all gods”. Our gospel today reminds us that, although we are to obey the laws of the land, our first allegiance is to God. When we do this, we are “lights to the world”, as our Gospel Acclamation for today states: “shine like lights in the world as you hold on to the word of life”.
Sing a New Song #788
Psalm: Give the Lord glory and honor (R&A)
Gospel acclamation: Celtic I(G)
Preparation of Gifts: Blest Are We # 668
Holy: Mass of Creation
Memorial Acclamation: When we eat (Mass of Creation)
Amen: new from Word and Song # 259, Bolduc (F)
Lamb of God: Mass of Renewal (usual)
Communion: We Are the Light of the World # 803 (Dm)
Recessional: Come Let Us Sing With Joy to the Lord # 798