Gift: Wisdom– With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.
Reading: Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
with the mountains quaking before you. (Isaiah 63:19)
In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. (1 John 4:17-18)
Observation: As I read the Office of Readings, I felt as if the first psalmody was written for me. As I went back to the page just now to remember what the first psalm reading is called, I found this scripture written under the title for Psalm 39, or the urgent prayer of a sick person. Creation is made subject to futility…by him who subjected it, but it is not without hope (Romans 8:20). So, I am getting over a cold/flu, and I hope today marks the end of my suffering any symptoms. However, it was further down the Office that I came to the line from the First reading that I quoted above. I couldn’t help feeling joy at reading of the words of Isaiah that were calling on God to come down. Although, the prophet was speaking before the first coming, I would think he would have yearned for our final salvation as well.
Personification: Joy. Today, I am hoping to display the fruit of joy, not only because I hope to not suffer any more symptoms of a cold, but also because of the hope that I have that our loving God will not want to see us suffer this world’s injustice too much longer. As it says in the responsory, right after the first reading for today’s Office of Readings:
We cry out for justice, but it is not there;
for salvation, but it is far from us. (Isaiah 59:11)
It is much easier to see a path to displaying the fruit of joy when we read the first reading for today’s Mass from the first letter of John that I listed in the readings section above. It is only because we know that God loves us perfectly, that we know that we can be not afraid of his bringing judgment on this world.
Prayer: Lord, in your love let me put real joy on display to see today. It is my hope that everyone who sees me today, sees you. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!