- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

July 28, 2017

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO [1]

16th Friday in Ordinary Time
Exodus 20: 1 – 17; Ps 19; Matthew 13: 18 – 23

In our practice of Lectio Divina, sometimes it is a whole passage, sometimes a verse and even only a few words that strike us – that engage our hearts and bring us to prayer. Always, such is the work of the Holy Spirit, the very personal touch, the embrace of our God.

There is a simple phrase in the reading from Exodus that is most profound and most engaging in meaning for us as believers. Five times the phrase is repeated: “…the Lord, your God” – in fact, it is proclaimed extensively in the first five books of the Bible.

“…the Lord, your God” – in its simplicity it holds to us the great mystery – could we not say “the greatest mystery” – the most real, the most life-giving relationship ever – one that begins in this life and never comes to an end. This relationship, in reality beyond words, is one we are graced to know and more than that, to live each day.

This relationship, totally unequal, is desired by our God for each of us and that, in itself, is food for our reflection and of course, our prayer. There is our God – eternal, perfect in love, mercy, compassion, infinitely giving life, complete in Himself and then, there is us – fragile, needy, dependent, imperfect, incomplete and always in the state of receiving.

And, it is each one of us, in our humanity, that the Lord desires with a divine passion to be “your God.” This grace can only fill us with the wonder of faith and the God-given grace to know and love the Lord who delights with divine delight in being “your God” more and more…and forever.

What happens in our hearts – each one of us – when we change the phrase to “the Lord, my God”? What do I, you hear in our depths? The Lord, with passion, calls us to such hearing, to this graced listening – four times in the course of today’s Gospel, the word “hear” is proclaimed. It is a divine invitation…how can we refuse?