Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 342

You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy,
turn not away lest you fall.
You who fear the LORD, trust him,
and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the LORD, hope for good things,
for lasting joy and mercy.
You who fear the LORD, love him,
and your hearts will be enlightened.

The Catholic Church today finds itself in inevitable and necessary conflicts with the Dominant Culture. In the name of compassion, the world promotes all kinds of attacks against human life, from abortion and human chimeras to euthanasia. Catholics cannot be silent about these dreadful practices, nor can we expect to stop the momentum behind them.

Many women especially feel impelled to abort their unborn children. Without adequate financial, social or personal resources they have nowhere to turn. In many cases they have no experience of church or faith. If they have some sentimental feeling about motherhood, similar to those they felt about sex and relationships, their fantasies of motherhood are readily swept aside by overwhelming fears.

Vulnerable, expectant mothers cannot be expected have their babies and rely on the Lord's Providential Mercy if they have neither heard the Gospel nor met a Christian who demonstrates such faith. Their ethical values can only be the standards of the Dominant Culture, fearful, individualistic and brutally utilitarian.

In today's first reading, the wise man Sirach addresses "you who fear the Lord." He urges us to "wait for his mercy; trust him; hope for good things; love him" and so forth. He addresses his congregation, and insists that they must be a holy people.
Trust God and God will help you;
trust in him, and he will direct your way;
keep his fear and grow old therein.
Christian life is built on the assurance that God is very near, "nearer than I am to myself." But his love is not invasive to those who love him; it is welcome. We understand that God cares about us. He has said and we have heard, "I will be your God and you shall be my people." God's love directs our life. There is nothing human which is outside of God's purview. We delight in this and would have it no other way.

Many Catholics and Christians share generously with expectant mothers even as they invite them to rely on God. Our witness must be more than an invitation to Church, it must be an actual sharing of sparse commodities. We challenge the Dominant Culture not because we disagree with their compassionate concerns but because we trust in God's providential care; we have found mercy and we show mercy. Our fearless freedom invites others to come worship the Lord.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.